Michael Kors is taking on an individual eBay seller in a new legal fight. According to a 50-page trademark infringement and counterfeiting case filed in a federal court in Florida last week, Michael Kors asserts that Springboro, Ohio-based Chrissy Longoria is running afoul of the law by offering up Michael Kors phone cases on three separate eBay accounts, thereby causing “the erosion of the goodwill” associated with the Michael Kors brand, and “the destruction of the legitimate market sector in which it operates.”
Counsel for Michael Kors asserts that as a result of the brand’s extensive use, advertisement and promotion of the Michael Kors trademark, including by way of traditional print campaigns, digital and social media advertising, runway shows and influencer marketing efforts, “Members of the consuming public readily identify merchandise bearing or sold under the Michael Kors [name] as being high quality luxury goods sponsored and approved by Michael Kors. Or in other words, the Michael Kors trademark “has achieved secondary meaning [amongst consumers] as an identifier of high quality [fashion] goods.”
Kors asserts that Longoria is offering counterfeit Michael Kors phone cases for sale on eBay under three seller identities “jewellinoh,” “diva cellular accessories,” and “wireless diva” and thereby, “duping and confusing the consuming public” and “directly engaging in unfair competition” with the Michael Kors brand in order to “earn substantial profits.”
Still yet, the fashion brand claims that in addition to offering up and actually selling counterfeit and otherwise infringing phone cases and accessories (and according to the eBay listings attached to the complaint, Longoria has sold at least 1,000 of the Michael Kors-branded phone cases), Longoria is advertising those products for sale to the consuming public. “In so advertising these goods, [she] uses the Michael Kors trademark without Kors’ authorization,” further running afoul of trademark law.
With this in mind, Longoria’s “business amounts to nothing more than an illegal operation which infringes the intellectual property rights of Michael Kors,” the brand asserts in its complaint, which sets forth claims of trademark counterfeiting and infringement, false designation of origin, and unfair competition, and seeks injunctive relief to bar Longoria from further infringing its trademarks, an award of statutory damages of $2 million per each counterfeit trademark used and type of product sold.
Michael Kors is also seeking an order for financial institutions, such as PayPal, “to identify and restrain all funds up to and including the total amount of judgment” in Longoria’s accounts and surrender such funds to Michael Kors as a partial payment of the monetary judgment.
The case is Michael Kors, L.L.C. v. Longoria, 0:19-cv-62389 (S.D. Fla).