4 August 2016Trademarks

Levi Strauss targets ‘sophisticated’ Chinese counterfeiters

Jeans brand Levi Strauss has sued a group of Chinese counterfeiters that it says are carrying out a sophisticated counterfeiting operation that makes them “virtually impossible to detect”.

The US-based company filed a lawsuit yesterday, August 3, at the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

According to the complaint, counterfeiters “believed to be operating in China” are trading on the goodwill and reputation of Levi Strauss’s products by selling counterfeits, including jeans and jackets, online.

More than 30 Levi Strauss-owned trademarks have been asserted including one for its ‘Arcuate stitching design’. The mark, which protects the “distinctive pocket stitching” on the designs, is one of the oldest known apparel trademarks in the US and is still in continuous use, the company said.

It added that its trademark for ‘Levis’ and the mark protecting its ‘regular structural seams’ on garments had also been infringed.

“Tactics used by defendants to conceal their identities and the full scope of their counterfeiting operation make it virtually impossible to learn defendants’ true identities and the exact interworking of their massive counterfeit network,” the complaint said.

The complaint added that the defendants “regularly create new online marketplace accounts” as well as other fictitious names and addresses.

Levi Strauss is seeking an injunction, damages to the tune of $2 million for “each and every use of the company’s trademarks, and attorneys’ fees.

Online marketplaces have proved problematic for Levis Strauss before.

At the International Trademark Association annual meeting earlier this year, Zachary Toczynski, a counsel for the company,  revealed that it is increasingly focusing its attention on “taking down critical listings” rather than tackling all individual cases, due to the sheer proliferation of infringing listings.

Toczynksi was one of a panel of speakers discussing Argentina-based online marketplace MercadoLibre.

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

More on this story

2 October 2017   Clothing brand Levi Strauss has sued a Connecticut-based company for trademark infringement relating to “tabs” attached to the back pocket of trousers.