The US District Court for the Southern District of Florida has called for the shutdown of 155 websites selling counterfeit Gucci products. The Italian luxury fashion brand has been awarded $144.5 million in damages approximately 5 months after filing suit against these fraudulent sites.
The court approved Gucci’s motion for infringement without a trial, as the defendants never responded to the complaint.
Gucci Chief Executive Patrizio di Marco said that the websites exploited “Gucci’s unique creativity which has been harmful to Gucci’s image, business and well-known trademark reputation for creating high quality artisanal ‘Made in Italy’ products.”
It is uncertain as to whether or not Gucci will be able to recover the damages. This depends on how readily identifiable the defendants’ monetary accounts are throughout the investigation.
Brand owners also face the possibility of counterfeiters restarting their operations with new domain names. Filing one case oftentimes doesn’t eradicate the issue.
However, this type of claim can invoke fear in the personnel behind such fraudulent operations. Ralph Cathcart, partner at Ladas & Parry LLP in New York, said,
“What Gucci did serves an important function. It sends a message to counterfeiters.”
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