Following a civil lawsuit heard in the US courts, judges ordered 676 counterfeiters to pay the damages to the luxury brand in the landmark counterfeit case. WGSN Global News Editor Nigel Taylor reports
Quite a haul. Luxury fashion brand Belstaff has been awarded over $42m damages in its ongoing battle against online counterfeiters.
Following a civil lawsuit heard in the US courts, judges ordered 676 counterfeiters to pay the damages to Belstaff in the landmark counterfeit case.
The legal result follows the company’s decision to embark on a major protection programme for all of its IP – from registering of trademarks to individual products, including seeking external help from online brand protection specialists, MarkMonitor.
Elena Mauri, head of legal, Belstaff said: “We are delighted with the results from the ruling. There are other high profile luxury brands that have taken advantage of the US counterfeiting law, however we believe that our case has set the bar even higher due to the unprecedented number of sites that were taken down in one go.
“The whole legal process took less than four months and none of the single top 20 websites that were cited in the case are still in operation today. We certainly wouldn’t hesitate to take this legal route in the future, and we will continue to take a zero tolerance approach to any further illicit counterfeiting behaviour.”
The majority of the counterfeit products were jackets and outerwear, particularly counterfeit copies of Belstaff’s best-selling leather jackets. The counterfeit copies were many seasons old, designs that were no longer in production at Belstaff.
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