From one of the biggest counterfeit ring busts in history to final judgments and numerous lawsuits filed against copyright infringers, the legal beat at WWD has kept up a heady pace over the past month.
Most notable was a 19-month investigation that resulted in the arrest of 29 people with federal officials seizing more than $230 million in allegedly fake merchandise. Raids were conducted at warehouses in Queens and Brooklyn that “turned up hundreds of thousands of pieces of counterfeit apparel and accessories bearing the logos of the fashion industry’s most recognized brands, including Cartier, Coach, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Nike, Prada and Chanel,” according to the report from WWD.
Officials said most of the fake goods were “destined for the warren of stalls in and around Canal Street and lower Broadway.”
Meanwhile, in the courts, companies are stepping up efforts to protect brands and intellectual property. For example, Van Cleef & Arpels filed more than 10 lawsuits in the last year, primarily in federal courts in Florida and New York, to protect its Alhambra line.
WWD reported that four of the cases have settled while the others are pending. Legal sources are keeping a close eye on the cases because it is unusual for a line of products to see a jump in counterfeit activity.
Other items on the docket include:
* Cartier, a division of Richemont North America, being awarded a final judgment on consent in a trademark lawsuit against Citra Trading Corp. Cartier and Citra reached a settlement agreement, according to court papers. Cartier had alleged that Citra infringed on its screw head bracelet design.
* Aedes de Venustas filing a lawsuit against Venustas International in Manhattan federal court for allegedly infringing on its trade name and trademark.
* Chanel filing a lawsuit against Lori Dawn Langdon, who does business as Boca Bags, in federal court in the Southern District of Florida, for alleged trademark infringement.
For a detailed look at the stories behind these headlines, see these archived articles:
Van Cleef & Arpels Defends Alhambra Designs