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(Photo from Coach.com)
One more decision combating Internet counterfeiting and cybersquatting has been issued, this time, involving the luxury American leather goods, Coach Inc.
The Illinois federal court granted Coach US$ 257 million in damages and the right to seize more than 500 domain names linked to websites that sold fake Coach products, reported WWD.
In cases of online counterfeiting it is very difficult to physically locate the infringers. Accordingly, the multi-million dollars decisions, like in Coach's and other recent cases involving Hermès, Tory Burch, Burberry, UGG and True Religion, are for the most part symbolic and the companies do not actually receive all the damages money. They do, however, usually receive any money PayPal and/or Western Union may have from the infringers account.
On the other hand, litigation against online counterfeiting and cybersquatting serves and important role for seizing domain names. On Coach's case, the company was able to seizure domains such as coachbagfactory.com, usa-coach-bags.com and mycheapcoach.com, that not sold counterfeit merchandise, but also used official Coach photographs taken from their website.
The total damages won by Coach Inc. (US$ 257 million) is one of the largest in the history of cases combating Internet counterfeiting. The biggest sums so far are from True Religion Apparel Inc., which was awarded US$ 863.9 million and UGG Australia, which received US$ 686 million.