Counterfeit Compaq Computer Components The First Criminal Trademark Case Ever Brought to Verdict in Orange County
An Orange County, California businessman was found guilty on both counts of manufacturing and trafficking in counterfeit memory modules, in violation of Compaq’s United States trademark registrations. These guilty verdicts represent the culmination of the first criminal trademark infringement case filed in Orange County.
Tony Minh Nguyen, 37, of Huntington Beach, was found guilty this afternoon on both counts of the indictment. Nguyen directed sales and production at Dynasty Memory, Inc., a multi-million dollar Santa Ana computer supply company.
The jury found that Nguyen directed Dynasty employees to purchase out-of-date Compaq memory components. Then, Dynasty employees would remove the Compaq labels and, under Nguyen’s direction, they would re-adhere the Compaq labels to non-Compaq memory components, creating a product that would be substantially indistinguishable from genuine Compaq products. Nguyen then directed that these counterfeit parts be sold as the genuine article. The indictment alleges that the scheme ran from August 2000 until December 2000.
At trial, the evidence showed that defendant had counterfeited at least $5 million to $7 million of Compaq computer memory modules. The evidence included evidence of the manufacturing of tens of thousands of Compaq computer memory modules.
The investigation into Dynasty’s sale of counterfeit Compaq parts began when consumers started returning to Compaq memory products that Compaq determined were counterfeit and had originated from Dynasty. Compaq brought the matter to the FBI, which investigated the case that resulted in today’s arrest.
Nguyen was remanded into custody after the verdict. The sentencing is scheduled for January 26, 2004. Nguyen faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and fines of up to $4 million.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Tom McConville (714) 338-3590 Release No. 02-156
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