THREE FIRMS SAY WEB SITE SOLD BOGUS GOODS
Byline: Vicki M. Young
NEW YORK — Nike Inc. and subsidiaries of Polo Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger on Monday filed a lawsuit against the operator of the DesignersDirect.com Web site, alleging that counterfeit T-shirts were sold on the site and seeking at least $3 million in damages.
The plaintiffs said in the suit, which was filed in Manhattan federal court, that Visionary Content Management, the Arizona-based company that operates the Web site, sold unauthorized T-shirts bearing the trademarks of the three companies. Polo socks were also allegedly sold without permission. The plaintiffs also said that the sale of goods bearing “counterfeit” trademarks caused them “irreparable” harm,” and “deceives” the public into thinking that the defendant is an “authorized retailer of genuine” Nike, Hilfiger and Polo goods.
Steven R. Gursky, of Gursky & Ederer, the attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement, “Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren and Nike continue to be very vigilant in their efforts to protect the integrity of their brands, particularly on the Internet where a number of unauthorized sellers who do not buy ‘direct’ from these ‘designers’ continue to offer counterfeit merchandise to unsuspecting consumers.”
A DesignersDirect spokesman said Monday, “I can say unequivocally that we have never sold counterfeit goods, nor will we. We will prevail in the lawsuit.”
The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction to bar DesignersDirect from selling the alleged counterfeit goods, the destruction of the supposed infringing product, an accounting of profits, and $1 million for each instance of trademark infringement.
In November 1999, the Hilfiger subsidiaries filed a suit against Ronnies Club 501 for selling counterfeit apparel, including jeanswear, at Tommyhilfiger-warehouse.com — an online e-commerce site with no affiliation to Hilfiger.