The Fashion Law Exclusive - According to a recently filed lawsuit, our friends over at Shop Jeen are in some serious legal trouble with Chanel. The NYC-based online retailer has been hit with a strongly-worded complaint by the legal team for the Paris-based design house, alleging that Shop Jeen has "engaged in illegal counterfeiting and infringing activities knowingly and intentionally or with reckless disregard or willful blindness to Chanel's [trademark] rights." The multi-million dollar lawsuit, which was filed in mid-December in the Southern District of New York, cites federal trademark infringement, trademark counterfeiting, false designation of origin, trademark dilution, and common law trademark infringement, in connection with imitation Chanel iPhone cases, as a result of which Chanel has suffered "irreparable injury and substantial damages, and the Defendants have been unjustly enriched."
Chanel's complaint places significant emphasis on two interesting concerns: Shop Jeen's use of "the Chanel Marks in the same stylized fashion, for different quality goods" (which is damaging to Chanel's reputation of high quality goods) and the Defendants' "knowledge that they are without the authority to do so." The latter is characterized as a knowing and willful "defrauding of Chanel and the consuming public for the Defendants' own benefit," and is not only based upon Shop Jeen's sale of the iPhone cases but also its advertisement of such accessories. Chanel places significant emphasis on the advertising of such goods, as Chanel claims that through such advertising, the "Defendants misappropriated Chanel's advertising ideas and entire style of doing business with regard to the advertisement and sale of Chanel's genuine products." Ouch.
So, what does Chanel want? Well, to start with it wants damages to the tune of "$2 million for each counterfeit trademark used and product sold" and an award of attorneys fees' and investigative fees. Essentially, several million dollars and for Shop Jeen to pay for its lawsuit. It is also asking the court to order a permanent injunction preventing Shop Jeen from using Chanel trademarks and trade dress "to falsely advertise the services of products of the Defendants as being sponsored by, authorized by, endorsed by, or in any way associated with Chanel; from falsely representing themselves as being connected with Chanel, through sponsorship or association, or engaging in any act which is likely to falsely cause members of the trade and/or of the purchasing public to believe any goods or services of the Defendants are in any way endorsed by, approved by, and/or associated with Chanel." Chanel also wants the court to prevent Shop Jeen "from using any reproduction, counterfeit, copy, or colorable imitation of the Chanel Marks in connection with the publicity, promotion, sale or advertising of any goods sold by the Defendants."
More to come, maybe …