Hermes has won a landmark trademark case
Hermes wins $100 Million counterfeiting case
French luxury brand Hermes has been awarded $100 million in damages in a
landmark US court case against websites that sold counterfeit Hermes
products, including jewellery.
US District Judge Denise Cote found that a collective of 34 websites were guilty of counterfeiting and trademark infringement.
The defendants, owners of websites with names like hermesbagoutlet.net and other variations, did not appear in court but will be forced to handover all of their domain names to Hermes as well as all funds in their PayPal accounts.
In a ruling that’s surely good news for the jewellery industry Judge Cote said, “Collectively, the defendants sold and offered for sale at least nine distinct types of goods, each bearing numerous counterfeits of the Hermes trademarks and designs.”
It’s been reported luxury brands have claimed in lawsuits that the online sale of counterfeit jewellery, clothes and bags costs the companies about $30 billion a year.
Internet search engines and social networks were also included in the ruling, with Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter and other sites directed to remove the offending websites from their search results.
It’s not the first time Hermes has successfully made counterfeit claims in court. It won a lawsuit in 2008 against eBay that placed an injunction against a vendor selling imitation Hermes products.
Counterfeit jewellery is becoming a major industry issue, especially for luxury jewellery brands. Jeweller reported last year on Tiffany & Co’s similar experiences to Hermes.
Tiffany is known for its vigilance in its fight against counterfeiters, and has shut down many websites that were selling imitation products in recent years.
However, eBay, which has been a popular host site for a lot of suspected counterfeit goods, has proven to be a complicated operation to bring action against. In 2010, Tiffany & Co lost a lawsuit against eBay accusing the company of deceiving customers to believe imitation Tiffany jewellery was legitimate.
"Tiffany failed to establish that eBay intentionally set out to deceive the public, much less that eBay's conduct was of an egregious nature sufficient to create a presumption that consumers were being deceived," U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan wrote.
Tiffany sues more counterfeit jewellery sites
Posted May 08, 2012