Alena Veasey/ Shuttershock
10 June 2024TrademarksMarisa Woutersen

Pink Floyd sues over alleged counterfeit goods

The legendary rock band files a suit over allegedly selling unauthorised merchandise and infringing the band's trademarks | Suit claims the website misleads consumers with counterfeit products, impacting the band's brand and reputation.

Pink Floyd has filed a suit against a website for allegedly selling unauthorised merchandise and infringing the UK rock band’s trademarks.

The website, PinkFloydMerch.com, was hit with a trademark suit, on June 6 in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, for allegedly putting Pink Floyd’s trademarks on products, ranging from t-shirts and jumpers to mugs and pillows, and offering them for sale online.

Pink Floyd was founded in 1965 and inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

The band manufactures and sells concert merchandise globally, and the continuation of counterfeit goods has impacted the band's ability to maintain control over its brand’s reputation and quality, according to the suit.

The trademarks in question are US trademark numbers: 2,194,702; 3,247,700; 4,236,037; 5,521,572; 6,514,317; 5,435,348; 6,784,353; and 6,862,397.

The website was accused of creating a fraudulent online storefront designed to mislead consumers into believing they are purchasing genuine Pink Floyd merchandise.

The complaint highlighted the methods allegedly used by counterfeiters to dodge detection, including the use of fictitious addresses and multiple online aliases.

The suit explained, despite previous efforts to police its marks, the rise of anonymous online retailing has made it increasingly difficult for Pink Floyd to protect its brand from widespread counterfeiting.

The impact of increased counterfeit goods

Pink Floyd argued the sale of counterfeit products not only damages the band's reputation but also deceives consumers and undermines legitimate commerce.

“Counterfeiting is no longer confined to street-corners and flea markets. The problem has intensified to staggering levels,” said the complaint.

According to a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the international trade in counterfeit goods has surged, with a 154% increase in counterfeits traded internationally—from $200 billion in 2005 to $509 billion in 2016.

The rise in consumer use of third-party marketplaces “significantly increases the risks and uncertainty” for US producers when creating new products.

The US Department of Homeland Security similarly documented a dramatic increase in seizures of counterfeit goods between 2000 and 2018, with seizures of infringing goods at US borders increasing 10-fold, from 3,244 seizures per year to 33,810.

“It is no longer enough for a small business to develop a product with significant local consumer demand and then use that revenue to grow the business regionally, nationally, and internationally with the brand protection efforts expanding in step,” argued the complaint.

Instead, with the international scope of e-commerce platforms, once a small business sells products online, it faces increased risks of foreign infringement.

Pink Floyd sought both preliminary and permanent injunctions to stop the defendant from allegedly selling counterfeit goods and using the band's trademarks without authorisation.

The complaint also requested the transfer of the defendant's domain name to Pink Floyd and compensation for damages caused by the unauthorised use of the Pink Floyd trademarks.

Pink Floyd is represented by Keith Vogt from Vogt IP.

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at atapping@newtonmedia.co.uk