Friday, March 30, 2012

True Religion Wins Default Judgment in Counterfeit Suit

For any denim worshipper, a sale on a favorite brand of jeans is as much of a miracle as manna falling from the heavens or feeding thousands on five loaves of bread and two fish. It probably seemed too good to be true when it appeared that True Religion was selling their jeans at a fraction of the normal retail cost on discount websites. And it was.

According to the Los Angeles Times, global trade of counterfeit goods is estimated at well over $600 billion dollars a year. As a result, True Religion - among many brands - has been fighting counterfeits for years and paying their counsel and anti-counterfeit enforcers handsomely to protect brand integrity and put a stop to the misuse of their label. The investment in their legal representation seems to have paid off when earlier this month a New York district court judge ordered more than a hundred websites selling counterfeit True Religion jeans out of China to pay True Religion $8.15 million each, for a total of $864 million in damages.

Whether True Religion will ever see any of these damages is unknown but perhaps the true success for the denim brand is that the judge also ordered that all of the sites be disabled and their domain names transferred to True Religion. Hallelujah.

If the thought of counterfeits makes your blood boil, check out Brand Integrity: Strategies for Fighting Contraband and Counterfeit Goods, by Craig A. Stewart, Anthony J. Franze, and Evelina Norwinski. KF3197.5.B73 2011 at Classified Stacks.

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