28 September 2016Trademarks

Calvin Klein targets ‘massive’ counterfeit network

US fashion brand Calvin Klein has sued a group of counterfeiters who have allegedly sold unauthorised and unlicensed products bearing the company’s trademarks online.

Calvin Klein filed its lawsuit at the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division on Monday, September 26.

The brand claimed that the defendants infringed a number of its trademarks, including ‘Calvin Klein Underwear’, ‘CK’, and ‘Calvin Klein’, by selling counterfeit men’s underwear, watches, handbags and sunglasses.

In the suit, Calvin Klein alleged that the defendants, based in China and other foreign jurisdictions, are selling counterfeit products online to consumers in the US.

The websites are designed to appear to be authorised online retailers and outlet stores, which makes it “very difficult” for consumers to distinguish the counterfeit websites from legitimate portals.

Further, the defendants have used tactics to conceal their identities, making it “virtually impossible” for Calvin Klein to learn their identities and the “exact interworking of their massive counterfeit network”, according to the suit.

“Calvin Klein has been and continues to be irreparably damaged through consumer confusion, dilution, and tarnishment of its valuable trademarks as a result of defendants’ actions, and seeks injunctive and monetary relief,” said the suit.

Calvin Klein is seeking the transfer of the infringing domain names, an account of all profits made by the defendants in their unlawful acts and attorneys’ fees.

The brand is also seeking statutory damages for wilful counterfeiting for each use of the Calvin Klein trademarks ($2 million per infringement, tripled) and $100,000 for each domain name.

Additionally, Calvin Klein has requested an order that online marketplaces disable and cease providing services used by the defendants to engage in the sale of the counterfeit goods.

The brand was founded in 1968.

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