By  on April 2, 2007

NEW YORK — Chanel filed a lawsuit against Ilia Nicholas, alleging trademark counterfeiting and infringement. Nicholas does business as fashionbagcafe.com, ebagsfashion.com and Fastline Unlimited Premier, as well as Complete Trace Inc., an inactive Florida company that did business as Fastline Unlimited Trace. The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in southern Florida on March 23, alleged the defendants sold "counterfeit products, including at least high-quality handbags, bearing trademarks which are exact copies of the Chanel [trade]marks and trade dress." Chanel asked the court for a preliminary and permanent injunction against the defendants and for punitive and statutory damages. The defendants could not be reached for comment.

Bare Escentuals filed a lawsuit against L'Oréal USA and L'Oréal SA on March 22 in a federal court in the Northern District of California alleging false advertising, trademark infringement and unlawful business practices. According to court documents, Bare Escentuals alleged that L'Oréal's use of the "Bare Naturale" name infringes on its own trademark and that it intentionally targeted Bare Escentuals' mineral-based foundation with "deliberately false and confusing advertising in order to mislead consumers and strip market share in the product segment." Bare Escentuals' products are sold at Sephora stores and through QVC. According to a L'Oréal spokesperson, "the lawsuit is completely without merit. We stand behind our claims 100 percent, and we will vigorously defend this matter in court."

Gucci America, owned by PPR Group, Chloé SAS, owned by Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, and Alfred Dunhill Ltd., operated by DFR, joined forces and filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against MyRepublicanhandbag.com, Wholesalereplica.com, Replica-watch-town.com, Traderinasia Consulting and Kelvin Cho in Manhattan federal court on March 26. The lawsuit alleged that the defendants were manufacturing, importing, exporting, distributing and selling counterfeit reproductions of genuine Gucci, Chloé and Alfred Dunhill handbags and watches, among other items. According to court documents the plaintiffs filed a request for a temporary restraining order against the Web sites on March 27. A cause hearing in the case is currently set for April 17.

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