Tiffany & Co. has won a $2.1 million default judgment and permanent injunction against 78 defendants operating websites that allegedly sell counterfeit Tiffany jewelry.
The judgment, issued on Oct. 28 by federal court for the southern district of Florida, requires the sites—with names like SalesTiffany.net and TiffanyandCoMall.com—to transfer their domains to Tiffany.
“Trademark counterfeiting severely damages brand owners and consumers alike,’ said chairman and CEO Michael Kowalski in a statement similar to one the retailer issued in 2007. “The way to stop it is to take aggressive action against the counterfeiters and make them pay, civilly. That’s what happened in this case which should send a message to anyone trying to sell counterfeit Tiffany merchandise.”
The company’s lawyers previously have complained about the continuing costs of having to constantly police its mark online.
“The recent explosion of counterfeiting over the Internet has created an environment which requires Tiffany to file a large number of lawsuits, often it later turns out, against the same individuals and groups,” said legal papers filed in January. “The financial burden on Tiffany and companies similarly situated is staggering, as is the resulting burden on the Federal court system.”