On February 2nd 2019 a complaint was filed by the owner of popular childrenÂs character ÂHello KittyÂ against a Californian based company due to the allegation that it is producing counterfeit products that infringe the ÂHello KittyÂ trademarks and copyright. Japan headquartered Sanrio is the exclusive owner of all ÂHello KittyÂ trademarks and stated the counterfeiterÂs known as ÂGearlaunchÂ owns and operates numerous websites in which they manufacturer ÂHello KittyÂ apparel without a license and have also sold apparel that infringed some of its other characters including, Dear Daniel, Kerropi and My Melody.
Sanrio described the Âsubstantially identical likelinessÂ between the protected trademarks and the ÂGearLaunchÂ products. Sanrio explained how they had sent ÂGearLaunchÂ at least five written notices of its alleged unauthorised activities but received no response and the Californian Company continued to manufacture, advertise, sell and distribute counterfeit products.
Sanrio has expressed the substantial damage they have endured as a result of the counterfeits and seek to gain $2million per trademark infringement, they have also asked the court to order ÂGearLaunchÂ to cease all production and distribution of the allegedly infringing goods.
At this stage there is no mention of the courtÂs decision so it will be interesting to see the courtÂs response to such allegations.
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