June 23, 2018
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Pennsylvania man denies selling fake cellphone covers in Maine

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — A Pennsylvania man charged in U.S. District Court with selling to a Maine buyer fake cellphone covers made to look like OtterBox-brand covers pleaded not guilty Tuesday to one count each of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and trafficking in counterfeit goods.

Michael Kurnik, 25, of York, Pennsylvania, was released on personal recognizance bail, according to the court’s electronic case filing system. His trial tentatively was set for Sept. 8 in federal court in Portland.

Kurnik was arrested July 15 in Pennsylvania after being indicted July 8 by a federal grand jury in Portland, according to a previously published report. The indictment was sealed until his arrest.

The circumstances surrounding his arrest have not been made public.

Kurnik allegedly obtained counterfeit OtterBox cellphone cases between June 2013 and February 2014 from China and sold them to customers. Each cover bore a counterfeit mark “that was substantially indistinguishable from the [OtterBox] registered trademark,” the indictment said.

On Dec. 11, 2013, Kurnik allegedly shipped 130 cellphone cases to an unnamed person at an undisclosed address in South Portland. He possessed 6,700 counterfeit covers on Feb. 5, 2014, in Manchester, Pennsylvania, according to the indictment.

If convicted, Kurnik faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $2 million fine.

OtterBox was founded in 1998 in Fort Collins, Colorado, according to information posted on its website. The company sells protective cases for cellphones, tablets and other handheld devices.

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