You may recall that Tory Burch has filed a number of trademark infringement lawsuits over the past couple of years, including one against NYC-based jewelry company, Lin & J International. While the lawsuits were pretty customary trademark counterfeiting suits, Lin & J International turned out to be a bit of an unusual defendant. Not only did they respond to Burch's suit (which is pretty rare occurrence in most online counterfeiting lawsuits), they filed a lawsuit of their own. Lin & J not only denied any wrongdoing, the company accused Tory Burch of using "sham lawsuits" to conceal its own copying ways. According to Lin & J's counterclaims, which were filed early last year, the designer is guilty of unfair trade practices, tortious interference with its business relationships, defamation, and trademark infringement. Well, as of this past week, Tory came out on top.
Last Friday, US District Judge Denise Cote ordered Lin & J the company to pay $38.9 million in damages, in addition to attorneys' fees of $2.3 million. This ruling comes on the heels of Tory’s 2013 lawsuit, accusing Lin & J of manufacturing and selling rings, necklaces and earrings bearing copies of Burch’s own designs and infringed trademarks. In response, Lin & J's contended its products were original designs inspired the Coptic cross, an early Christian symbol, and alleged unfair trade practices, tortious interference with its business relationships and defamation, as well as trademark infringement.
And that’s not all. This past November, a New York federal court judge ruled that Lin & J had fabricated and destroyed evidence, and continued to rely on the offending material despite being ordered to desist. No word on whether Lin & J will appeal.
IMAGE COURTESY OF TORY BURCH.