The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida just awarded Tiffany & Co. $2.2 million in damages against 78 website operators (i.e. TiffanyandCoMall.com and TiffanycoOutlet.co.uk) selling counterfeit Tiffany jewels online.
The judgment ordered the domain names transferred to Tiffany, as they were created with the intent to “confuse and deceive” consumers, thus resulting in trademark infringement.
“We are pleased to announce this judgment. Trademark counterfeiting severely damages brand owners and consumers alike. The way to stop it is to take aggressive action against the counterfeiters and make them pay, civilly,” said Michael Kowalski, chairman and chief executive officer of Tiffany, in a statement. “That’s what happened in this case which should send a message to anyone trying to sell counterfeit Tiffany merchandise.”
Tiffany takes its trademark infringements very seriously. In July of this year, Tiffany sued Costco over engagement rings it felt falsely claimed to be made by the jewelry company.
In 2004, Tiffany filed a high-profile suit against eBay Inc. to force the web retailer to take greater steps to prevent fake Tiffany jewelry from being sold on its site. Tiffany lost the suit but appealed it.
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