Whether on Canal St here in NYC or online, it's not hard to find fake wares. People have been selling counterfeit merchandise on the Internet before anyone knew what a Napster was. In recent years, fashion brands have begun to fight back much in the same way the music and movie industries have: with lawsuits. Today, luxury accessory maker Coach won a lawsuit against hundreds of websites that sell counterfeit versions of its goods.
The Illinois Federal Court awarded Coach $267 million in damages and gave the company ownership of more than 500 websites that sell fake products. All of the domains, according to SecuringIndustry.com, had the word "Coach" in the name. Despite the win, Coach sees this more as a symbolic victory, as there is no real way to recoup all the money its lost and is losing thanks those selling counterfeit Coach products.
"This judgment should serve as a warning to everyone involved in any aspect of trafficking in counterfeit goods that Coach will find you and will seek to impose the harshest penalties available against you," said Coach's counsel Todd Kahn.
In 2009, Coach started what it called "Operation Turnlock" to attempt to stop the online sale of counterfeit products. Since then it says its collected financial awards from "virtually every link in the chain of counterfeit distribution."
[via Securing Industry]