Gucci wins $144m in counterfeit lawsuit

Gucci buildingGucci America has been awarded $144m in damages against companies peddling counterfeit versions of its products online in another big win for the luxury goods sector.

The clothing and accessories company won its lawsuit - which accused the online companies of trademark infringement as well as cybersquatting (using a domain name to profit from someone else's trademark) - in a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

In addition to the damages - which are likely to be largely symbolic although some cash will be appropriated from the infringing companies online accounts such as PayPal - the court has ordered the takedown of 155 domain names used by the counterfeiters.

The company won a preliminary injunction and asset freeze against 50 "partnerships and business associations" involved in the illegal activity - collectively referred to as et al and including domains such as and - on August 28. The defendants failed to attend a preliminary hearing earlier in the month.

Gucci America's president and chief executive Patrizio de Marco, said in a statement: "We are extremely pleased that the court clearly understood the dangers to consumers posed by online counterfeiting organisations and has sent a strong message that counterfeiters can expect to receive severe sanctions when caught."

The successful lawsuit follows similar big ticket victories in US courts for the likes of designer clothing company Coach and Swiss luxury goods group Richemont.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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