Coach, Inc. announced that it has obtained a default judgment of $257 million in a lawsuit filed in Illinois Federal Court against individuals and businesses that operate websites selling counterfeit Coach merchandise. The judgment also awards Coach the ownership of 573 internet domain names, which are the websites from which defendants conducted their illegal operations.
“In addition to the award, obtaining the domain names used by defendants in this case is a tremendous achievement. All the illegal websites operated by defendants include the word “Coach”
This judgment is the latest victory in Coach’s campaign against counterfeiters. Coach launched its comprehensive anti-counterfeiting litigation campaign, known as “Operation Turnlock” in May of 2009. Operation Turnlock was designed to make business increasingly more difficult for those involved in any aspect of trafficking in counterfeit goods.
“The magnitude of this judgment underscores the severity and illegality of counterfeiting, and sends a clear message that our courts will enforce the law. This judgment should serve as a warning to everyone involved in any aspect of trafficking in counterfeit goods that Coach will find you and will seek to impose the harshest penalties available against you,” said Todd Kahn, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Coach.
“In addition to the award, obtaining the domain names used by defendants in this case is a tremendous achievement. All the illegal websites operated by defendants include the word “Coach” in the domain name (also known as the website address) which potentially confuses consumers into believing that they are purchasing genuine Coach merchandise,” said Nancy Axilrod, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Coach.
Since the inception of Operation Turnlock, Coach has filed lawsuits and obtained significant monetary awards against virtually every link in the chain of counterfeit distribution, including manufacturers, wholesalers, retail operators, those operating websites, as well as flea market operators and landlords who provide a location from which others sell counterfeit merchandise.