Gucci teams up with Facebook on counterfeit lawsuit

Social media channels are increasingly being used to peddle counterfeits goods, but brand owners are fighting back, and increasingly in partnership with the media companies.

This week saw Gucci America join forces with Facebook for the first time to file a legal complaint against a woman who is claimed to have used multiple accounts on Facebook as well as its Instagram platform to promote websites selling fake Gucci products.

Moscow-based named Natalia Kokhtenko is accused of running an international online business that sold counterfeit Gucci- branded handbags, shoes, clothing, and accessories between "at least April 2020 [and] April 26, 2021."

Efforts to curb the activity by disabling accounts and removing posts were ineffective, as Kokhtenko simply continued with the activity using fresh accounts, according to court documents filed with the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

Websites she is alleged to have operated include and In December, Gucci purchased a handbag from the latter site that had been promoted on Instagram and on inspection confirmed it was counterfeit.

Test purchases of other fake items followed, including a Gucci-branded t-shirt, handbag, and scarf that also turned out to be fake.

Anti-Counterfeit Packaging Market by Technology, End-Use Industry and Region - Global Forecast to 2025

The lawsuit accuses Kokhtenko of counterfeiting, trademark infringement, unfair competition, and breach of contract – the latter because the activities broke Facebook and Instagram terms of use.

It is seeking monetary damages to the value of three times any profits made from the sale of counterfeit goods, or statutory damages of $2m for each trademark infringement, as well as a permanent injunction on use of the social media platforms.

Facebook and Gucci America said in a statement that Kokhtenko is "the head of an international counterfeiting business."

"Facebook and Gucci’s collaborative relationship is built upon joint commitment and efforts to combat the promotion and sale of counterfeit goods online," they added. "This lawsuit – the first of its kind for Facebook and Gucci – is a natural next step in the progression of our partnership."

Facebook says that in the first half of 2020, its anti-counterfeit team removed more than one million posts or other user-generated content on Facebook and Instagram based on reports of counterfeit good.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top