NEW YORK — Tiffany & Co. won a $2.2 million judgment and a permanent injunction against a ring of Internet counterfeiters Thursday.
Filed in the southern district of Florida, the lawsuit named 78 defendants operating Web sites such as salestiffany.net, shoptiffanyco.com, tiffanyandcomall.com, tiffanycooutlet.co.uk, which sold counterfeit Tiffany jewelry.
According to the New York-based retailer, the domain names not only “intended to confuse and deceive consumers,” but they also infringed on the firm’s trademarks.
As part of the judgment, the court required that the Web site operators’ infringing domain names be transferred to Tiffany. It also requested that $2.2 million be paid to Tiffany, but tracking down Internet counterfeiters to collect damages is extremely difficult, making the likelihood of collecting very slim. RELATED STORY: Gucci Awarded $144.2M Against Online Counterfeiters >>
“Trademark counterfeiting severely damages brand owners and consumers alike,” said chairman and chief executive officer Michael Kowalski. “The way to stop it is to take aggressive action against the counterfeiters and make them pay, civilly. That’s what happened in this case, which should send a message to anyone trying to sell counterfeit Tiffany merchandise.”
According to Susan Scafidi, academic director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham University here, Tiffany’s real victory was not linked to the monetary sum awarded by the court.
“The big treat in Tiffany’s Halloween court victory was the transfer of the domain names that had been used to trick consumers into buying fakes,” she said. “While Tiffany may never see the $2.2 million in damages, they should be anything but blue over their victory.”
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“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia