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The brand responsible for the Frisbee has targeted a number of online counterfeiters in a trademark lawsuit filed last week.
Toy maker Wham-O Holding filed the complaint at the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, on Tuesday, May 8.
Wham-O’s suit explained that Frisbee is a “classic outdoor toys and equipment brand” and that the flying discs sold under the ‘Frisbee’ marks are “among the most popular ever” such products sold.
Since the Frisbee’s introduction in 1957, more than 100 million of the discs have been sold and the marks have been continuously used on the packaging of Frisbees to ensure a direct consumer association between the marks and the brand is created, Wham-O said.
The suit was filed to “combat online counterfeiters who trade upon Wham-O’s reputation and goodwill” by selling products bearing Wham-O’s ‘Frisbee’ trademarks (US numbers 4,046,202; 970,089; and 679,186).
According to the complaint, Wham-O filed the suit against people and businesses it believes to be based in China and other foreign territories, in order to “protect unknowing customers from purchasing unauthorised Frisbee products over the internet”.
Each defendant “targets” consumers in the US with infringing or counterfeit Frisbee products through operating “fully interactive commercial websites” to “deceive unknowing consumers”, Wham-O claimed.
Wham-O said the defendants have created “numerous” internet stores which are designed to appear to be selling genuine Wham-O branded products. To avoid liability, they go to “great lengths” to conceal their identities and the full scope of their illegal operation, the company added.
The design of the sites falsely suggests a relationship between the counterfeiters and the brand, and the “illegal operations” of the sellers are therefore affiliated with Wham-O, the suit said.
Wham-O asked the court to enjoin and restrain the defendants from their infringing activities; order the transfer of the defendants’ domain names to Wham-O; and order third parties, such as market platforms and social media sites, to disable infringing accounts.
In addition, Wham-O is seeking triple damages or the award of statutory damages of $2 million for each use of the ‘Frisbee’ marks.
Wham-O Holding, Frisbee, counterfeit goods, branding, illegitimate companies, online counterfeiting, trademark infringement