Hermès International v. Does

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

02/29/2012

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

New York

Disposition: 

Default Judgment
Injunction Issued

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

$100,000,000.00
On March 6, 2012, Hermès International and its subsidiary Hermès of Paris filed a complaint (which had been prepared for February 29, 2012) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against 34 websites that... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

John Does 1-100; XYZ Companies

Type of Party: 

Large Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Location of Party: 

  • New York
  • France
Description
On March 6, 2012, Hermès International and its subsidiary Hermès of Paris filed a complaint (which had been prepared for February 29, 2012) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against 34 websites that allegedly sold counterfeit Hermes bags, scarves, and other Birkin products. In the complaint, eight of the defendants were identified by name and served by email, while the remaining individuals and companies remained anonymous. Hermès's complaint alleges nine causes of action:
  1. Federal trademark counterfeiting violating the Lanham Act §§ 32(a)-(b)
  2. Federal trademark infringement violating the Lanham Act § 32
  3. Cybersquatting under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act
  4. Trade dress infringement and false designation of origin violating the Lanham Act § 43(a)
  5. Federal trademark dilution violating the Lanham Act § 43(c)
  6. Trademark dilution violating the N.Y. General Business Law § 360
  7. Deceptive acts and practices unlawful violating the N.Y. General Business Law §§ 349-350
  8. Trademark infringement violating New York state common law
  9. Unfair competition violating New York state common law

Hermès requested 100 million dollars in damages, alleging damages in the amount of two million dollars per trademark that was counterfeited or infringed.

After reviewing Hermès's complaint, District Court Judge Cote granted a temporary restraining order against the defendants on March 6, 2012. At this time, Judge Cote also established a March 16, 2012 deadline for the defendants to file an answer and ordered that they appear in court to show cause on March 20, 2012. The order also permitted service by email, which was verified on March 8, 2012.

On March 21, 2012, Judge Cote ordered a preliminary injunction against the defendants regarding the use of the Hermès trademarks and granted domain name seizure on an ex parte basis.

Hermès further filed a motion for default judgment against all of the defendants on April 13, 2012. In this motion, Hermès argued that that the defendants' failure to appear justifies the entry of a default judgment, in the form of enhanced statutory damages of 100 million dollars and permanent injunctive relief. On the same day, Hermès's attorney, Joseph C. Gioconda, filed a declaration in support of Hermès's motion for default judgment.

On April 19, 2012, Judge Cote issued to the defendants an order to show cause by appearing on April 27, 2012 to defend against an entry of default judgment. None of the defendants responded or appeared, and therefore on April 27, 2012, less than two months after the original complaint was filed, Judge Cote granted Hermès's motion for default judgment. Judge Cote awarded Hermès 100 million dollars in statutory damages and permanently injoined the defendants from use of the Hermès trademarks, designs, and/or domain names.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Virtual

Publication Medium: 

Website

Subject Area: 

  • Trademark
Court Information & Documents