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Jewellery company Swarovski has cracked down on online counterfeits in a trademark infringement claim.
Filed on Monday (pdf), November 28 at the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, the lawsuit claimed counterfeit products had been sold “by the thousands”.
“Defendants attempt to avoid liability by going to great lengths to conceal both their identities and the full scope and interworking of their counterfeiting operation,” said the suit.
Swarovski owns 69 US federal trademark registrations and has eight pending applications. The trademarks include ‘Swarovski’, a swan logo and ‘Stardust’.
The trademarks have achieved “tremendous fame and recognition”, according to the jewellery company, and the goodwill associated with the marks is of “incalculable and inestimable value”.
The defendants are an “interrelated group of counterfeiters” that reside in China or other foreign jurisdictions, according to the suit.
Swarovski explained that it has a worldwide anti-counterfeiting programme and in recent years has identified thousands of domain names selling counterfeit products.
“Internet websites like the defendant internet stores are estimated to receive tens of millions of visits per year and to generate over $135 billion in annual online sales,” claimed the suit.
It added that Swarovski “has been and continues to be irreparably damaged through consumer confusion, dilution, and tarnishment of its valuable trademarks”.
Swarovski is seeking injunctive relief, transfer of infringing domain names, and an order that online marketplaces disable the services being used by the counterfeiters.
It is also seeking an account of profits, statutory damages for wilful infringement worth $2 million for each infringing trademark use and $100,000 per infringing domain name, and attorneys’ fees and costs.
A spokesperson for Swarovski stated: “Swarovski is committed to protecting its brand and its consumers from the fraudulent activities of counterfeiters. We take counterfeiting seriously and we have been steadily increasing our anti-counterfeiting efforts worldwide. The legal action filed on Monday is just one example of the steps we are taking to combat counterfeiting.”
Swarovski, online counterfeits, jewellery, trademark, trademark infringement, online sellers,