In a rare case of domestically-based counterfeiters, Coach Inc. won in court late last month against mother-and-daughter duo Linda and Courtney Allen, and John Vanasco, Jr., of Syosset, N.Y. The defendants had been operating websites advertising and selling counterfeit Coach accessories (bags, sunglasses, scarves, jewelry, etc.), as well as selling fakes on eBay. The American fashion brand, which has been aggressively policing its trademarks over the past few years, is entitled to a $44 million judgment. Coach was also granted a permanent injunction, which requires defendants’ infringing sites, Bellafashions.net and MyClassyFashion.com, to be shut down for good.
What swayed the court? Likely the fact that the defendants had been sued for similar behavior in the past. S.D.N.Y. Judge Colleen McMahon noted that Chanel brought suit against Allen in 2007 for counterfeiting and trademark infringement.
Coach has taken a particularly aggressive approach to protecting its brand from counterfeits and trademark infringement and dilution. Nancy Axilrod, Coach's general counsel, has said that the company has filed more than 550 lawsuits as part of its campaign to stop the sale of counterfeit goods.