After a mother and daughter based counterfeiting operation was unveiled, Coach has successfully won $44 Million U.S.D.’s in a Manhattan based Court room.
The case was on the federal level and is quite unique in the sense that its counterfeiting operations were based in the United States versus the more usual foreign-based web operators.
In the final verdict, Judge Colleen McMahon stated that the organization had violated trademark rights on 11 goods and 22 various infringements. To top the charges off, not only did Coach gain the multi-million reward but gained permission to shut down the infringing web sites Bellafashions.net and MyClassyFashion.com.
Linda Allen, the head of the organization denied knowing anything about the charges, and then later admitted the charges were real. Allen is a repeat offender and has already been sued for infringing upon the Chanel Inc. for trademark related issues including counterfeiting and infringement in 2007. She was let off the case lightly then with simple warnings and her websites (including MyClassyFashion.com and UltimateDesignersHandbags.com, as well as selling some on eBay) threatened – however second time is a charm and Judge McMahon decided to make an example out of this repeat offender.
“Linda Allen plainly requires substantial deterrence because she has not been deterred by prior judgments. She persists in her contumacious behavior. This award may be crippling, but it is plainly needed to prevent Allen from going back once again into the business of counterfeiting.” - Judge McMahon
This hefty sum of cash will no doubt go to making up for the lost profits from Coach and will serve as a warning to others in the black market for trademark infringement.
“The decision in Coach v. Linda Allen, et al. should serve as a warning to defendants in all pending Coach lawsuits that courts consider counterfeiting a serious issue and are prepared to order defendants to pay large sums of money. This decision should also serve as notice to all who traffic in counterfeit goods that Coach will vigorously pursue you, and will win.” – Nancy Axilrod (Coach’s deputy general counsel).
For another story on counterfeit items and fraud read: