The Tory Burch company wants its recent legal trademark infringement win to help in fashion’s counterfeit battle.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote on Wednesday ordered that Lin & J International Inc. pay Tory Burch LLC $38.9 million in damages and $2.3 million in attorneys’ fees in a trademark infringement suit.
“We hope this decision benefits the entire industry by sending a strong and clear warning to counterfeiters,” a Tory Burch spokeswoman said Thursday.
Cote issued her court order on July 10, which stands to put to rest claims that Lin & J copied and sold Tory Burch trademarks, including the designer’s ISIS Cross designs. The two companies have fought in court since 2013, when Burch first charged that the New York-based Lin & J copied and sold rings, necklaces and earrings that mirrored her designs and infringed on trademarks.
At the time, the designer sued Lin & J International Inc. and co-owners Lani Kim and Youngran Kim, claiming the company sold thousands of units of counterfeit Burch jewelry. Earlier that year, Burch sent a representative to Lin & J’s showroom in New York and that representative was shown a variety of knockoffs and told the minimum order was $350, according to court documents. Burch also identified a wholesaler in Alabama who pointed to Lin & J as their supplier of thousands of units of fake jewelry. In court papers, Burch said the defendants attended the International Fashion Jewelry & Accessory Show in Orlando, Fla., in February, where they showcased the baubles and took orders for no less than $1,000.
Lin & J later responded with a countersuit, alleging that the designs for its jewelry borrowed from the Coptic cross and charging Burch’s company with unfair trade practices, defamation, trademark infringement and other claims. In December, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York found LLC Youngran Kim (“Kim”) and three companies she controls, Lin & J International Inc., LJ Brand Inc. and NJ Lin & J International Inc. liable for trademark infringement under the Lanham Act.
Burch’s attorney, Michael Bittman of Fish & Richardson, declined to comment Wednesday.
A spokesman at Lin & J’s New York office said Wednesday that neither Youngran Kim nor her cofounder, Lani Kim, were available. He deferred any further comment to the Lin & J’s legal team at the Fort Lee-based Song Law Firm. Song’s Howard Myerowitz did not respond to a request for comment.
As of Wednesday, an appeal had not been filed in the U.S. District Court, according to a spokeswoman for Cote.