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Tory Burch Awarded $164 Million Judgment Against Internet Counterfeiters
Jun 10, 2011 (02:06 PM EDT)
NEW YORK, June 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal court in New York has awarded luxury lifestyle brand Tory Burch $164 million in damages against operators of hundreds of "rogue" websites selling counterfeit versions of Tory Burch's signature Reva ballet flats and other Tory Burch footwear, handbags and accessories. The award is believed to be the largest ever issued in the fashion industry against online counterfeiters.
"Many people think that buying a fake product is harmless, but counterfeiting is estimated to result in annual losses of over $20 billion dollars to American companies," said CEO and designer Tory Burch. "This judgment represents a victory for our customers, our brand and our industry."
In addition to monetary damages, the court ordered that 232 domain names used to sell counterfeit Tory Burch products be permanently disabled and turned over to Tory Burch. The financial accounts used to sell the counterfeit goods were restrained as well. The order also provides a mechanism for Tory Burch to disable additional rogue websites that defendants set up in the future without needing a new lawsuit.
"This judgment has played a pivotal role in our company's anti-counterfeiting strategy and will allow Tory Burch to take more effective and efficient action against these online counterfeiters moving forward," said Tory Burch President Brigitte Kleine.
Tory Burch filed its action in December 2010, alleging trademark counterfeiting and cybersquatting by a group of counterfeiters believed to be based in China that had set up hundreds of fake websites. Each site was designed to appear to unsuspecting consumers to be an official Tory Burch site or an authorized retailer of Tory Burch products. The counterfeiters copied campaign images, pictures of Tory Burch products and detailed product descriptions directly from the Tory Burch website. In order to avoid detection, the counterfeiters operated under multiple false and incomplete identities. Many of the fake sites were set up with domain names incorporating the name "Tory Burch," creating additional confusion for customers. Currently, the only official Tory Burch websites are www.toryburch.com and its Japanese equivalent, www.toryburch.jp. The company also plans to launch www.toryburch.cn in China by the end of the year.
This case was Tory Burch's latest action in its extensive anti-counterfeiting enforcement efforts throughout the world. These efforts include cooperation with customs authorities and law enforcement agencies to stop the shipment and sale of counterfeit goods, criminal and civil legal actions against counterfeiters and the takedown of counterfeit websites and fraudulent online auction listings. Tory Burch also fights fakes by educating its customers about how to avoid buying counterfeit products. The dangers of counterfeits are the topic of numerous Tory Burch tweets and Facebook posts.
Tory Burch was represented in this case by the law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP and the investigation company Vaudra Ltd.
About Tory Burch:
Tory Burch is a luxury lifestyle brand defined by classic American sportswear with an eclectic sensibility and attainable price point. It embodies the personal style and spirit of its CEO and designer Tory Burch. Recognizing a void in the market for a designer aesthetic at a more accessible price point, Tory wanted to create stylish yet wearable clothing and accessories for women of all ages. Launched in February 2004, Tory Burch is carried at 51 freestanding Tory Burch stores across the U.S., Europe and Asia, www.ToryBurch.com and over 500 select department and specialty stores worldwide.
SOURCE Tory Burch LLC