Fashion brand Tory Burch files four lawsuits

Tory BurchFashion brand Tory Burch has filed lawsuits accusing four wholesale companies of selling fake versions of its jewellery.

Tory Burch filed the lawsuits in New York to seek unspecified damages and injunctive relief from four companies. The companies are accused of selling earrings, necklaces, and bracelets that have similar designs to Tory Burch products, and feature the brand’s double-T logo.

Robert Isen, Tory Burch’s chief legal officer, told WWD: "The company has long been vigilant in defending our intellectual property, and will continue to take counterfeiting and copyright infringement seriously. It is an ongoing formidable challenge impacting our entire industry."

Tory Burch has upped its anti-counterfeiting efforts as the company has grown. In the past year it claims to have helped shut down more than 1,200 websites selling Tory Burch products, and aided law enforcement in the seizure of almost 500,000 counterfeit items.

According to the website, recent Tory Burch legal actions in New York citing trademark infringements include a suit filed in March against Bluebell Accessories, naming two individual defendants (Jessica Min and Sung Ki Min).

Meanwhile, in April, a federal district court judge in Illinois issued a default judgment awarding Tory Burch $20m in damages after finding infringing use of trademarks by a counterfeiter consortium, including the seizure of bank accounts and the transfer of domain names.  The company won a similar lawsuit last year and won $2m in damages, while a suit in 2011 led to a $164m award.

Often the values cited in this type of action are symbolic, however, as it is difficult to identify the culprits at fault and amid a fragmented network of operators, although cash held in offending websites' online accounts can be forfeited.

Tory Burch image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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