Chanel has filed a lawsuit against 33 unknown companies, accusing them of online counterfeiting and trademark infringement.
This lawsuit was filed at the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida on 26th November 2018. The accused companies were selling counterfeit Chanel products online to the customers based in Florida.
According to the suit, such activities confuse the public and decrease the goodwill and brand name of Chanel.
Chanel owns the mark ‘CHANEL’ (trademark number 0,626,035), in class 18 which covers women’s handbags. Other trademarks include bracelets in class 14 and clothing in class 25.
They also own the ‘CC’ monogram in different styles, covering a range of products in different classes. In the lawsuit, Chanel claimed that the online entities were confusing the customers by selling counterfeit products to them. These products did not match the quality of Chanel products. The activities were harming the reputation and goodwill of the company.
The defendants were intentionally infringing the Intellectual Property rights of Chanel, thus engaging in unfair competition and fraudulent conduct. They had used ‘interactive internet-based photo albums’ on social media platforms like WeChat, Whatsapp, etc to advertise and sell the counterfeit products.
The consumers are duped into thinking that the counterfeits as genuine high-quality Chanel products. The company also claimed the sellers were also giving false information in websites while signing up for seller IDs.
Chanel has requested the Court for injunctive and monetary relief, including $2 million for each counterfeit products or triple damages.
French brand has also requested the Court to order the internet hosting websites to terminate such seller accounts including any private messaging accounts or monetary accounts such as PayPal.