Burberry takes on counterfeiters operating ‘hundreds’ of websites


Saman Javed

Burberry takes on counterfeiters operating ‘hundreds’ of websites

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Burberry has filed a trademark infringement suit against the operators of a number of online websites which allegedly sell counterfeit products.

The complaint, filed yesterday, August 28 at the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois alleged that the counterfeiters use Burberry’s “reputation and good will” to sell knockoff products bearing Burberry’s trademarks.

Burberry alleged that the counterfeiters made online stores by “the hundreds or even thousands and design them to appear to be selling genuine Burberry products, while actually selling counterfeit products to unknowing consumers”.

The counterfeiters also allegedly use search engine optimisation tactics and social media spamming so that their internet stores appear high up in search results, misdirecting consumers away from genuine Burberry products.

Additionally, Burberry said the online stores all share unique identifiers, such as design elements and similarities of the counterfeit products being offered for sale. It said this established a logical relationship between the network of operators.

According to the filing, the counterfeiters attempt to avoid liability by going to great lengths to conceal their identities and the full scope of their operation.

In its request for injunctive relief and monetary damages, Burberry said it “has been and continues to be irreparably damaged through consumer confusion, dilution, and tarnishment of its valuable trademarks”, which it says have become “a symbol of modern luxury”.

Burberry, US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, counterfeit products, social media, online copyright, trademark infringement

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