Federal customs agents seized 2,000 allegedly counterfeit earbuds at JFK Airport — only to have the manufacturer demand their return.
US Customs and Border Patrol said the shipment of knock-off Apple AirPods was discovered in an air cargo facility after arriving from Hong Kong en route to Nevada.
“THAT’S NOT AN [APPLE],” the CPB tweeted Sunday, using a red fruit emoji.
The tweet also included two photos of the seized goods, including a red-and-white box labeled “OnePlus Buds.”
The merchandise, if genuine, would have been worth $398,000, the CPB added.
“The interception of these counterfeit earbuds is a direct reflection of the vigilance and commitment to mission success by our CBP Officers daily,” CPB Director of New York Field Operations Troy Miller said in a statement.
But in response, OnePlus USA tweeted early Monday, “Hey, give us those back!” along with an upside-down smiley face.
The company later followed up with a tweet that mockingly alluded to the incident, saying, “Seize the day. Seize the music. #OnePlusBuds.”
Several online news reports noted that the OnePlus wireless earbuds — which retail for just $79 a pair, compared to $199 for comparable Apple AirPods — aren’t fraudulently marketed as Apple products.
But a CPB spokesperson told the Ars Technica website that the OnePlus items “appeared to violate” Apple’s “configuration trademarks on their brand of earbuds.”
“CBP’s seizure of the earbuds in question is unrelated to the images or language on the box,” the spokesperson said.
“A company does not have to put an ‘Apple’ wordmark or design on their products to violate these trademarks. The importer will have many opportunities through the adjudication process to provide evidence that their product does not violate the relevant recorded trademarks.”