A Florida federal judge granted a demand for preliminary injunction by the storied luxury fashion house, which will prevent about 30 Amazon store operators from continuing to do business while trademark infringement litigation winds its way to resolution. The case against the sellers is likely worth in excess of $60 million.
Louis Vuitton has approximately 15 separate trademarks covering its popular monogram design, its checkered damier design and various styles of the brand’s initials and name, all of which it claims are being used, in one form or another, on various counterfeit items being sold on Amazon, including leather goods and cell phone cases.
When Louis Vuitton in late May filed suit against the sellers, it sought the injunction in order to stop them from not only selling purportedly counterfeit merchandise, but to stop the defendants from simply quitting one Amazon store and registering another selling the same goods.
The house also said in its complaint that the accused sellers are mostly based outside the U.S., but they’ve provided false or “misleading” information to the online marketplace in order to remain anonymous “for the sole purpose of engaging in illegal counterfeiting activities” which targeted the U.S. market.
“Defendants’ Internet-based businesses amount to nothing more than illegal operations established and operated in order to infringe the intellectual property rights of Louis Vuitton and others,” the brand said in its complaint.
Louis Vuitton went on to note that the symbols used on the alleged knock-offs are “exact copies” of its trademarks and said they’re being used “with the knowledge and intent that such goods will be mistaken for the genuine high quality goods offered for sale by Louis Vuitton.”
Moreover, the sellers are engaging in online marketing and search engine optimization strategies for their fake Louis Vuitton goods, the brand said.
“Defendants are causing concurrent and indivisible harm to Louis Vuitton and the consuming public by depriving Louis Vuitton and other third parties of their right to fairly compete for space within search engine results and reducing the visibility of Louis Vuitton’s genuine goods on the World Wide Web, causing an overall degradation of the value of the goodwill associated with the Louis Vuitton Marks, and increasing Louis Vuitton’s overall cost to market its goods and educate consumers about its brand via the Internet,” the company added.
With that, Louis Vuitton asked the court to permanently bar the sellers from counterfeit activities and to order Amazon and any other applicable marketplace web site to permanently take down any listings of counterfeit Louis Vuitton merchandise and stop fulfilling any orders for those goods.
Louis Vuitton is also seeking $2 million for each counterfeit product sold and asked that any payment services, including Amazon Payments Inc. and PayPal Inc., be ordered to restrain any funds linked to the accused sellers for the payment of any judgement.
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