Monday, December 28, 2009

T-Mobile Awarded Injunction, Damages for Competitor’s Violation of Unfair Competition Law

This posting was written by Jody Coultas, Editor of CCH State Unfair Trade Practices Law.

T-Mobile USA, Inc. was granted a permanent injunction and a final judgment of $5 million against competitors that sold counterfeit products, illegally used T-Mobile's trademark, and falsely advertised its products in violation of the California Unfair Competition Law (UCL), according to the federal district court in Los Angeles.

T-Mobile alleged that the competitors engaged in an unlawful enterprise involving the acquisition, sale, and alteration of large quantities of T-Mobile prepaid wireless telephones and other materials used to activate service or acquire airtime.

The competitor acquired bulk quantities with the actual or constructive knowledge and intent that they would not be activated for use on the T-Mobile prepaid wireless network and that the handsets would be computer-hacked.

The hacked handsets were sold overseas under the T-Mobile trademark. The case was part of T-Mobile's ongoing fight to curb misuse of its products.

The competitors were permanently enjoined from purchasing, selling, and unlocking any T-Mobile prepaid handsets or activation materials. Because the alleged actions constituted violations of the UCL and other laws, the competitor was also ordered to pay $5 million to T-Mobile in damages.

The decision is T-Mobile USA, Inc. v. C-Tech Wholesale, Inc., CCH State Unfair Trade Practices Law ¶31,962.

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