MIAMI — Fashion house Chanel took dozens of companies that allegedly used counterfeit Chanel products and trademarks for profit to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Oct. 18.
Chanel sued the companies for $2 million each, alleging that they are “promoting, selling, offering for sale and distributing goods bearing counterfeits and confusingly similar imitations of Chanel’s trademarks within this district,” according to the lawsuit.
It accused the defendants, many of whom are websites, of infringing on its trademark on multiple counts: trademark counterfeiting and infringement, false designation of origin, claim for relief for cybersquatting, common law unfair competition and common law trademark infringement.
Chanel argued that the defendants were fully aware of their alleged infringing activity and were using the Chanel trademark and brand for profit as they promoted, sold and distributed similar items online.
“As part of their overall infringement and counterfeiting scheme, defendants are, upon information and belief, currently employing and benefiting from substantially similar, and often times coordinated, paid advertising and SEO strategies based, in large measure, upon an illegal use of counterfeits and infringements of one or more of the Chanel Marks,” the fashion line said in its lawsuit.
It added that the defendants had used the Chanel brand to build traffic for their own websites, and caused unfair competition for Chanel's own websites on popular search engines.
Chanel said the defendants had caused the value of its products to decline and increased its marketing costs.
Chanel asked the court to prohibit the defendants from doing any further business with the Chanel trademark. It also asked that the defendants to pay Chanel for profits made as a result of the alleged infringements.