NEW YORK — Cartier International B.V. filed a counterfeit and trademark infringement suit against Silverspot.com, an online retail Web site, for allegedly selling counterfeit jewelry.

The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York against Harish Vohra, Benson Rajan, Ramesh Vohra and Shoba Vohra as well as several “John Does” all associated with Silverspot.com.

The defendants could not be reached for comment.

According to the complaint, Silverspot allegedly sold counterfeit Cartier jewelry products online. The complaint primarily alleges that the site sold Cartier’s screw bracelet and screw necklace and its love necklace designs, according to the luxury brand’s attorney, Harley Lewin, chairman of trademarks and global brand strategies for Greenberg Traurig LLP, based here.

The allegations of the complaint include trademark counterfeiting, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, trade dress infringement and unfair competition.

Cartier has been quietly approaching businesses that have counterfeit goods on their Web sites or are advertising sales of these products and “giving them an opportunity to negotiate a good faith resolution,” Lewin told WWD.

“Cartier is always prepared to go the extra yard where negotiations break down, and that’s what has occurred here,” he added.

Cartier is ultimately asking for a permanent injunction barring Silverspot from using the Cartier trademarks and from passing off counterfeit goods as Cartier. The company asked that any counterfeit products and promotional material related to them be handed over for destruction. Cartier also asked Silverspot to provide it with a list of the entities that manufactured the products. The complaint also requested $4 million to cover damages plus legal fees.

There have been a number of Web site-oriented jewelers importing and selling counterfeit jewelry, Lewin said, and while sales turns may not be fast, the online promotion of counterfeit goods can hurt a jeweler. Tiffany, Cartier and others all have moved against this type of product, he said.

This story first appeared in the June 15, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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