Tory Burch wins $164million in anti-counterfeit suitSusan Scafidi in The Telegraph (UK), June 13, 2011
In a victorious case against counterfeiters and 'cybersquatters', Tory Burch is awarded $164 million in damages.
BY Melissa Whitworth | 13 June 2011
"Many people think that buying a fake product is harmless, but counterfeiting is estimated to result in annual losses of over $20 billion to American companies," said Tory Burch, chief executive officer and designer of her eponymous label.
Burch has landed a victory against counterfeiters, the scourge of fashion's luxury labels; New York Federal Court awarded her company damages of $164million on Friday.
Robert Isen, her brother and her president of corporate development, told WWD the settlement was a "staggering judgement." He said that the brand's "motivation was really not financial", although he admitted the company suffered "intangible losses".
He added: "It's a constant fight. This is not the end of a journey for us. In some respects, it's just the beginning."
The case, filed last December, has given Tory Burch LLC control over fake domain names claiming to sell her clothing, including counterfeits of her coveted Reva ballet flats, handbags and other accessories. The company also has the power to disable future websites that pop up offering similar fake goods.
In addition to monetary damages, the court ordered that 232 domain names used to sell Tory Burch fakes be permanently disabled and turned over to the fashion label.
"This is an important victory for Tory and all designers," Steven Kolb, executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, told WWD . "Counterfeiting not only robs the designer of what is rightfully theirs, but also negatively impacts the American economy and the jobs associated with designers' investments."
"Counterfeiting is a blight on the industry," he said. "This judgment will continue to make this an issue in the industry."
Similar winning cases include judgements in the favour of Polo Ralph Lauren, and North Face against a ring of 130 Chinese "cybersquatters".
Burch's claim named 41 cybersquatters, linked to a further 232 sites - primarily Chinese sites - with names like toryburchoutletshop.com and louboutintime.com.
"The damage award is massive, but the action against rogue websites is even more impressive," said Susan Scafidi, director of Fordham University's Fashion Law Institute, to WWD . "Like the judgment won by Polo Ralph Lauren and North Face at the end of last year, this decision is an indicator of the broad scope of internet-facilitated counterfeiting, but also of the potential for a single decision to cut a wide swath through a network of illicit sites."