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MAC, Estée Lauder Score $90 Million Judgment

A New York federal court found a ring of Chinese cybersquatters guilty.

MAC Cosmetics and its parent company, the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., won a $90 million judgment Tuesday against a ring of Chinese cybersquatters selling counterfeit MAC beauty products and cosmetics.

This story first appeared in the August 2, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Filed in the Southern District of New York in April, the lawsuit named Tingting Chen, Limei Weng and Zhang Guithe and others who operated 112 Web sites including, themaccosmetics.com, mac2wholesale.com, maccosmeticworld.com, wholesalemacmakeup.com and cheapmakeuppick.com.

The defendants did not respond to the suit and presiding Judge Ronnie Abrams issued a permanent injunction, which will shut down the infringing sites.

Because it is virtually impossible to collect funds from cybersquatters, the judge also ordered that any funds found in the PayPal accounts linked to the infringing sites be handed over to the plaintiffs, as well as control over any newly detected domain names associated with the original sites.

Additionally, the judge ordered that third parties providing services to the defendants, including online business-to-business selling platforms such as Alibaba.com, Internet service providers, back-end-service providers, Web designers, search engines, shippers and domain name registrars be permanently enjoined from providing services to the defendants.

Holding third parties accountable is a continuing trend in Internet counterfeiting cases as it is difficult to track down cybersquatters.

“We have a very strong connection with our consumers at MAC and have a responsibility and commitment to provide them with the finest quality and safe prestige makeup products,” a spokeswoman from MAC told WWD. “We take consumer safety very seriously. Counterfeit products claiming to be MAC cosmetics can be harmful to our consumers. We work closely with dedicated and diligent law enforcement agencies around the globe and participate in numerous counterfeiting enforcement efforts to help put a stop to counterfeit MAC products. We also urge our consumers to shop at one of our authorized retail channels, so that they can know for certain that they are purchasing genuine MAC products.”