Counterfeiting continues to be a booming business, but knock-offs got a knock on Thursday when the Manhattan Federal Court ruled in favor of Burberry Ltd. against an online network of Chinese counterfeiters.
The defendants ran sites such as yesburberryvision.com and buyburberry.com selling at least 22 types of Burberry merch that imitated its iconic plaid check and equestrian knight. Not surprisingly, the defendants failed to show up in court let alone answer the complaint filed in January and therefore the judge awarded Burberry $100 mil and whatever money was held by third-party payment processor, PayPal Inc.
In addition, the judge granted a permanent injunction and ordered the domains transferred to Burberry, effectively allowing the brand to stop Internet service providers, Web designers, payment processors and others from doing business with the counterfeiting culprits. Burberry also has the ability to shut down any social media sites — the Twitters and the Facebooks — or search engines — the Googles or the Bings — associated with those domains.
This case, along with a similar case last month in which Herm?s was also awarded a $100 million judgement, have set precedents in the way courts handle counterfeiters by holding search engines, ad word providers and social media — as opposed to just ISPs, payment processors and domain name registrars — responsible. [WWD, sub req'd]