Gucci America, Balenciaga Corp. France and Bottega Veneta International have filed a trademark counterfeiting and infringement lawsuit against Hetty Feldman Palant in federal court in South Florida.
In a separate but related lawsuit, Chanel Inc. has charged Palant with trademark infringement in the same court. Chanel also filed a trademark counterfeiting lawsuit in a Houston court last week against Sheryl Maslar and John Maslar.
In the Florida cases, the luxury companies alleged that Palant, who does business as Designs by Hetty, allegedly sold counterfeit goods bearing their trademarks. The complaints accused Palant of selling handbags, wallets, sunglasses, makeup bags, scarves, watches, belts, hair accessories, blouses and costume jewelry.
The defendant could not be reached for comment.
These lawsuits are the latest in the ongoing fight waged against counterfeiters by the top luxury firms.
The Chanel lawsuit was entered on March 29. Gucci, Balenciaga and Bottega Veneta filed their action on March 30. Both lawsuits contain allegations of trademark counterfeiting and infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution and unfair competition.
Both complaints said, “The net effect of the defendants’ actions will be to result in the confusion of consumers who will believe the defendants’ counterfeit goods are genuine.”
The lawsuits asked the court for preliminary and permanent injunctions against Palant and for punitive and statutory damages.
In a separate caset, Chanel filed a trademark counterfeiting complaint in federal court in Houston against Sheryl Maslar and John Maslar, who do business as bagswithtags.com, Bags With Tags, lavishluxury2006.com, lavishluxurybags.com, Lavish Luxury Bags and Lavish Luxury.
The legal documents, filed March 28, contain allegations of trademark counterfeiting and infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution, unfair competition and injury to business reputation.
According to the complaint, Chanel alleged that the defendants promoted and sold counterfeit handbags, wallets, tote bags, watches, sunglasses, scarves, shoes, boots and clothing that infringed on its trademarks.
Chanel asked the court for preliminary and permanent injunctions against the defendants restricting them from using its trademarks or trade dress on unauthorized goods. The lawsuit also asked the court to award unspecified punitive and statutory damages.
This story first appeared in the April 3, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The defendants did not return calls for comment.