FORT LAUDERDALE – Chanel Inc. has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against websites that sell knock-off versions of the company’s products.
The complaint was filed June 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Defendants named in the suit include 7sreplicachanel.com, 2018bags.com and yipingbag.com.
On its website, 7sreplicachanel.com says its offers thousands of replica bags at “incredible wholesale prices.” It also promises to “source only the best high imitation handbags and ensure the highest quality possible.”
The lawsuit accuses the defendants of being “part of an ongoing scheme to create and maintain an illegal marketplace enterprise on the World Wide Web.”
“Like many other famous trademark owners in the luxury goods market, Chanel suffers ongoing daily and sustained violations of its trademark rights at the hands of counterfeiters and infringers,” the complaint said.
It further states that the defendants are “duping and confusing” customers while “earning substantial profits.” The suit claims Chanel spends “significant monetary resources” in enforcing its trademark. Those resources include legal and investigative fees, and law enforcement support for field training guides and seminars.
“The recent explosion of counterfeiting over the Internet has created an environment that requires Chanel to file a large number of lawsuits, often it later turns out, against the same individuals and groups, the suit said.
The complaint notes that the defendants use domain names registered with registrars in multiple countries, including China.
“Defendants have purposefully directed some portion of their illegal activities toward consumers in the state of Florida through the advertisement, offer to sell, sale, and shipment of counterfeit Chanel branded goods,” the suit said.
Chanel is asking for $100,000 in statutory damages “per cybersquatted domain name used” along with attorneys’ and investigative fees. The company is represented by attorneys with Stephen M. Gaffigan PA in Fort Lauderdale.