Burberry Wins $180 Million in Fight Against Counterfeit Websites

New York—Just a few weeks after Hermès was awarded $100 million in an online counterfeiting claim, a U.S. District Court judge awarded Burberry $180 million in two cases where Chinese websites were found to be selling fake Burberry handbags, scarves, footwear and other accessories.

Per Judge Thomas Griesa’s order issued on Thursday, domain names for all the infringing sites (including yesburberryvision.com and buyburberry.com) will be transferred to Burberry where the British brand can cut off any internet providers, web designers, sponsored search engine or ad-word providers, merchant account providers, payment processors etc. from doing work with the defendants, who never even responded to Burberry’s suits.

Defendants a No Show in Court

According to court papers, the online stores copied Burberry’s trademark, logo and advertising images in a deliberate attempt to make it appear that the online stores were authorized retailers of Burberry merchandise.

“Counterfeit goods are 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 said in a statement.

Burberry can also cut off any monies held by PayPal Inc. which served as the payment processor for the counterfeit sites.

Moreover, Griesa said Burberry can move to seize any similar websites it finds, and demand that search engines, like Google, and social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, “de-index and remove” them from their search pages.

Meanwhile, Burberry vowed to continue to combat fake merchandisers: “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.”

 

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