Saturday, July 21, 2012

Coach Wins $44-Million in Counterfeit Lawsuit

Real vs. Fake
Coach is perhaps one of the most counterfeited brands in the world.  Now they have won their day in court to the tune of $44 million dollars.  The case was filed in Manhattan federal court against a mother-daughter duo, Linda and Courtney Allen.  They were managing websites that were promoting the sale of counterfeit merchandise.  They were selling everything from bags to scarves and jewelry.  

The websites in question were and  They also sold some product on eBay.  The defendants are now required to shut down the websites selling designer fakes - for good.  This isn't the first time the duo has been challenged by the justice system for selling fakes.  Chanel had also sued them in 2007 for trademark infringement. 

Apparently Coach has over 550 lawsuits as they aggressively protect their brand from counterfeiting.  This specific case was easier to pursue because the defendants were from Syosset, N.Y. which, facilitated the case compared to the complexity of pursuing foreign companies.  Women's Wear Daily reported that Judge Colleen McMahon said that the Allens violated 11 types of goods for a total of 22 separate infringements.(1)

When questioned about the incident Linda Allen said, "I know nothing about's not valid."  The judge also said that Linda and Courtney Allen knew what they were doing because on the website they clearly stated that the merchandise was not original and they had no affiliation to the authentic brands.

This monumental ruling is a clear indication that the law is in fact cracking down on the business of counterfeiting.  The fashion industry is taking this very seriously.  For the last two years the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) partnered with eBay on a campaign called You Can't Fake Fashion.  Designers created handbags to raise awareness about this ongoing issue of designer fakes in the industry.
The ruling in this case sets an example to all those who continue to make and sell counterfeit merchandise.  

(1) Women's Wear Daily
The Fashion Law

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