Gucci sues US online retailers over counterfeit bags

Gucci has filed a trio of lawsuits in New York that claim retailers Lord & Taylor, Sam’s Club and Century 21 of selling counterfeit versions of its products.

The Italian luxury group said it filed the lawsuits in the Southern District of New York court in Manhattan after an “extensive investigation” that it said showed the three companies had been marketing and selling fake Gucci items.

The suit against department store and online retailer Lord & Taylor claims that it “manufactured, advertised, offered for sale, sold, distributed, imported, and/or exported handbags bearing marks that are identical to or highly similar to…Gucci marks.”

Test purchases of handbags ranging in price from $1,500 to $2,400 from the company’s website confirmed that they were not genuine and “prominently” featured Gucci trademarks. The complaint also claims that counsel for Lord & Taylor admitted that the company was aware that counterfeit goods were being sold on its website, but then stopped responding to communications.

Similar claims were levelled against online retailers Sam’s Club and Century 21, which are both accused of selling counterfeit bags costing upwards of $1,000, placing them firmly in the ‘superfakes’ category – high-quality copies intended to deceive and support a high purchase price.

The suits are claiming trademark counterfeiting and infringement, unfair competition and false designation of origin and are seeking an order to turn over any trademark-infringing products and an injunction on selling any in the future, as well as treble damages.

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