Friday 19 January 2018

Coach awarded €36.25 million in counterfeiting case

Gwyneth Paltrow is the face of luxury handbag range Coach.
Gwyneth Paltrow is the face of luxury handbag range Coach.

Bibby Sowray

Coach's multi-million payout is the third awarded to a major fashion brand as a result of counterfeting in as many months.

Both Hermès and Burberry were each awarded €80.74 million in similar counterfeiting cases in April and May, respectively. But unlike those cases, which involved multiple mainly Chinese-run internet sites, the defendant in this case, Linda Allen, resides in Syosset, New York and colludes with her daughter, Courtney, to sell fake Coach handbags via two websites - and - as well as online auction site eBay.

Presiding judge Colleen McMahon ruled that the pair had violated Coach's trademarks on 11 types of goods for a total of 22 separate infringements, reports WWD. The two offending websites have now been shut down as part of the permanent injunction granted to Coach.

Allen was sued by Chanel in 2007 for selling counterfeit goods through and, leading McMahon to comment: "Linda Allen plainly requires substantial deterrence because she has not been deterred by prior judgments. She persists in her contumacious behavior. This award may be crippling, but it is plainly needed to prevent Allen from going back once again into the business of counterfeiting."

"Coach is exceedingly pleased with the court's ruling," said Nancy Axilrod, Coach's deputy general counsel. "The decision in Coach v. Linda Allen, et al. should serve as a warning to defendants in all pending Coach lawsuits that courts consider counterfeiting a serious issue and are prepared to order defendants to pay large sums of money. This decision should also serve as notice to all who traffic in counterfeit goods that Coach will vigorously pursue you, and will win."

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