Coach has won big - again. An Illinois federal court judge ruled that the US-based leather giant is entitled to $257 million in damages, stemming from internet counterfeiting. That's not all. Coach was also awarded ownership of more than 573 domain names that have been selling fake Coach products. This follows a July ruling in Coach's favor, in which a Southern District of New York court awarded the brand $44 million, as well as a permanent injunction against the infringing websites.
Vogue UK reports: "The monetary part of the ruling is symbolic - Coach will not actually receive the payment, as it is unlikely that they will be able to find the individuals behind the counterfeit websites to obtain their payment."
This statement warrants a brief explanation. As a result of "Operation In Our Sites," a U.S. government initiative, the Department of Justice may recover funds that defendants collected via PayPal. Money transferred from PayPal accounts to bank accounts in China, for instance, may also be collected. This is important because otherwise, the money would be nearly impossible to recover as the defendants are almost always based overseas. In saying that the damages amount will likely not be recovered, Vogue is likely referring to counterfeiters' increasing abilities to out-smart the court's ability to access their PayPal accounts, as well as their traditional cybersquatting websites.