Burberry Awarded $100 Million in Fight Against Counterfeit Websites
A Manhattan Federal Court recently granted Burberry a $100 million award, ruling that a collusion between Chinese internet counterfeiters infringed upon the brand’s trademarkWWD reports, the group was found to have sold at least 22 products bearing counterfeited Burberry trademarks, including imitations of the brand’s check and its equestrian knight design. Additionally, the online stores use sophisticated technology to make the sites appear as though they were authorized retailers of Burberry.
The defendants – who ran websites including YESBURBERRYVISION.COM and BUYBURBERRY.COM – failed to answer the complaint or appear in court when summoned, resulting in the substantial damages in the complainant’s favor. The judge also granted a permanent injunction against the sites, and transferred control of the offending domain names to Burberry, which will allow Burberry to shut down the entire group of counterfeiters. Burberry won the $100 million award by default, after the counterfeiters didn’t answer Burberry’s complaint, which was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in January, and didn’t show up in court when summoned. In a statement, Burberry said it was pleased with the outcome: “Counterfeit goods area a major industry issue, impacting brands and customers alike, and we appreciate that the Court understands the importance of protecting brands against such infringements.”
Burberry, in its efforts to disable websites offering counterfeit goods, launched a website litigation program in December 2010. Burberry’s statement added, “While we have seen significant success to date, we will continue to take action against, and press for the maximum penalties to be imposed on, those engaged in this illegal criminal activity.”