Pink Floyd see red over online counterfeits

13-06-2018

Pink Floyd see red over online counterfeits

allanswart / iStockphoto.com

The business entity for former rock band Pink Floyd is seeking an injunction against Chinese individuals and businesses for allegedly selling counterfeit goods online.

Pink Floyd (1987) Limited filed the lawsuit (pdf) at the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division on Friday, June 8. It cited trademark infringement and counterfeiting, false designation of origin, and other allegations.

Formed in the UK in 1965, the band achieved international success for their progressive and psychedelic music and were inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

In the lawsuit, Pink Floyd (1987) Limited said the band’s success has led to counterfeiting, including in this case. The company has identified “numerous domain names linked to fully interactive websites and marketplace listings on platforms such as iOffer and Aliexpress” that are selling fake Pink Floyd products.

The company added that many of the stores look sophisticated and often include images and design features that make it “very difficult for consumers to distinguish such counterfeit sites from an authorised website”.

In addition, the defendants use other “unauthorised search engine optimisation tactics and social media spamming” so that the listings for their stores appear prominently in search results and misdirect consumers searching for genuine Pink Floyd products, the lawsuit claimed.

The company also said the defendants go to great lengths to conceal their identities and “often use multiple fictitious names and addresses to register and operate their massive network” of stores.

Pink Floyd (1987) wants the court to restrain the defendants from further using and infringing the ‘Pink Floyd’ trademarks and, upon the company’s request, for those “in privity” with the defendants and notified by any injunction to disable the defendants’ accounts.

These other parties include any online marketplaces such as iOffer and Alibaba and its related entities, as well as social media platforms.

Pink Floyd have typically been more associated with copyright than with trademarks in the area of IP disputes. In 2011, the band settled a dispute with their record label EMI and the parties signed a new contract, the terms of which were not disclosed.

The band and the label had disputed whether the terms of their previous contract meant Pink Floyd had to provide permission for sales of individual downloads online or just physical sales. Pink Floyd, who argued that the contract should also apply to online downloads, won the case at the English High Court in 2010

Pink Floyd, counterfeit, trademark infringement, Dark Side of the Moon, Chinese counterfeits

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