Louis Vuitton can count another victory in the seemingly never-ending battle against counterfeit sellers.
The French luxury house on Monday scored a $22.9 million judgment in Florida federal court against more than 200 online sellers of counterfeit Louis Vuitton merchandise, mainly operating out of China but selling in the U.S.
A judge also barred the sites and their operators from “manufacturing or causing to be manufactured” any goods bearing Vuitton’s various trademarks, including things like its initials and signature hardware details.
The domain names included in the lawsuit, scores of which incorporated “LV” and “Louis Vuitton,” were to be immediately handed over to the company, and Vuitton was given the authority to have the domains frozen and essentially deregistered.
Damages Vuitton has been awarded include $100,000 for each of the 218 defendants, certain of which operated multiple web sites, and additional statutory damages between $10,000 and $60,000 against the 71 sites that directly incorporated Vuitton’s company name and initials into their domains.
Counsel for the company could not be reached for comment.
Vuitton’s suit is a typical example of the enforcement actions luxury companies have been taking in recent years to fight the proliferation of counterfeits available online.
The house filed the suit in late May, accusing the web sites of not only infringing its numerous trademarks, but of unfairly competing with the economic interests of the 163-year-old company by “duping and confusing the consuming public” with their fake goods and “earning substantial profits” in the process.
“The recent explosion of counterfeiting over the Internet has created an environment that requires Louis Vuitton to file a large number of lawsuits, often it later turns out, against the same individuals and groups, in order to protect both consumers and itself from the ill effects of confusion and the erosion of the goodwill connected to the Louis Vuitton brand,” the company said in its complaint.
One of those lawsuits is against more than two-dozen Amazon shops allegedly selling counterfeit Vuitton goods through the e-tailer’s marketplace.
In June, Vuitton succeeded in getting the court to freeze the stores while the trademark infringement case winds it way to resolution, which could see the house pull in another judgment possibly worth more than $60 million.
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