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Burberry Awarded $1.5M in Counterfeit Case

Ruling in U.S. District Court in Manhattan found Designers Imports Inc. had sold counterfeit Burberry apparel and accessories.

Burberry Ltd. won more than $1.5 million from a New York-based importer and online seller Tuesday after a judge found the merchant had sold counterfeit apparel and accessories.

This story first appeared in the January 21, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The luxury brand sued Designers Imports Inc. in 2007, two years after the companies entered into a previous settlement prohibiting Designers Imports from selling counterfeit goods. Burberry’s investigators later bought 20 items from Designers Imports’ Web site to ensure it was abiding by the agreement and determined 14 of the products were fake. Designers Imports argued at a September bench trial that any infringement had not been willful, contended that two of the items Burberry deemed fake were authentic and questioned the accuracy of all of the luxury house’s findings.

In a ruling entered in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Judge Paul Crotty said Designers Imports had willfully sold 12 counterfeit items. The judge awarded Burberry $1.5 million in statutory damages, or $100,000 per mark per type of goods sold, and attorneys’ fees. The brand had sought $6.5 million in damages. Crotty entered an injunction barring Designers Imports from offering counterfeit Burberry goods, but allowed it to continue to sell legitimate items on the secondary market.

Attorney Stanley Goodman, who represented Designers Imports, said his client was overseas and declined to comment on the ruling.