Marc Jacobs Sues 66 Websites For Trademark Infringement

As you may recall last week we reported that Adidas are suing Marc Jacobs for trademark infringement for copying their stripes. This week we have news that Marc Jacobs, which is owned by French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennnessy- Louis Vuitton LVMH, has launched trade mark infringement proceedings against 66 different websites for alleged trademark infringement.

The websites that are being targeted by Marc Jacobs include marcbymarcjacobsinc.com, marcjacobsmarc.com and tobevogue.com. According to the lawsuit that has been filed in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida the websites named in the lawsuit are using the Marc Jacobs’ trademark without authorisation. Further the websites are allegedly selling counterfeit goods using the Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs labels.

Marc Jacobs state that the websites are “actively using, promoting and otherwise advertising, distributing, selling and/or offering for sale substantial quantities of counterfeit goods with the knowledge and intent that such goods will be mistaken for the genuine high quality products offered for sale by Marc Jacobs despite Defendants’ knowledge that they are without authority to use the Marc Jacobs trademarks”.

The function of a trademark is to aid identification of the source of the goods and so trademark infringement of this type confuses the consumers with regards to the origins of the goods. As such consumers may be confused as to whether the websites in question are affiliated with Marc Jacob’s further they may believe that the counterfeit goods sold by the websites in question are genuine Marc Jacobs products that are associated with, and approved by Marc Jacobs.

Marc Jacobs are requesting that the defendants be forced to immediately and permanent stop the use of its trademarks and also stop the unauthorised sale of counterfeit goods. Further they are asking that the Defendants pay $2 million in damages for each counterfeit trademark that has been used and product that has been sold. They further demand $100,000 for each cyber squatted domain.

Marc Jacobs have commented upon the ongoing difficulties associated with preventing counterfeiters operating via the internet.

In the lawsuit Marc Jacobs states “in order to combat the indivisible harm caused by the combined actions of the Defendants and others engaging in similar conduct, each year Marc Jacobs expends significant monetary resources in connection with trademark enforcement efforts, including legal fees, investigative fees, and support mechanisms for law enforcement, such as field training guides and seminars. The recent explosion of counterfeiting over the internet has created an environment that requires companies such as Marc Jacobs to file a large number of lawsuits, often it later turns out against the same individuals and groups, in order to protect both consumers and itself from the ill effects of confusion and the erosion of the goodwill connected to the Marc Jacobs brand”.

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