For those who have an interest in jewelry and fashion, a bit of good news came out in recent days. A major jewelry company just stopped one group of counterfeiters.
On October 28, 2013, the federal courts in the southern district of Florida awarded Tiffany & Co. over $2.1 million in damages. They also got an injunction against 78 website operators selling counterfeit Tiffany jewels online. In addition to the monetary awards and the injunctions, the court also ordered the counterfeit websites’ owners to transfer their website domains to the plaintiff.
This judgement marks a major victory for Tiffany who has fought this problem for many years. It also marks a precedent that other companies can use when fighting similar problems.
Tiffany & Co.’s Ongoing Battle Against Counterfeit Products
You may have heard of some of the sites involved in this law suit. You might have visited a few of them.
A few of the websites included in the suit are ShopTiffanyco.com, SalesTiffany.net, and TiffanyAndCoMall.com. If you were to go on to each site, you might think you were actually on Tiffany & Co.’s website. These counterfeit sites would use a website format and logos very similar to the real Tiffany online store. They displayed counterfeit jewels and marketed them as the real thing. Most consumers had no clue that they were looking at counterfeits.
When Tiffany & Co. started filing suit against the owners of these websites, they quickly found that a small group of people and companies owned most of them.
The biggest value to come out of this lawsuit is the precedent it sets. Tiffany & Co. is just one of the major brands out there fighting the problem of counterfeiters using brand-related website names to sell fakes. This judgement sets a precedent for other companies fighting similar battles.
A Victory for the Consumer
According to a WSJ article published on October 31, Tiffany’s CEO Michael Kowalski thinks the actions of these counterfeiters harmed both the company and consumers. Tiffany has lost sales every year to these counterfeit sites. It has also damaged their reputation among some consumers.
Consumers would think they were purchasing from the real Tiffany & Co. just to find out the products are fake and basically worthless. So instead of that beautiful 2-carat diamond cocktail ring, you got a cubic zirconia instead. That would make any consumer angry.
With this judgement, consumers have a bit more protection against counterfeit products. It will likely deter some counterfeiters from trying this ploy. It also provides incentives for the big brand companies to fight these counterfeiters even harder.
Tiffany Continues the Fight
This judgement comes on the heels of Tiffany & Co.’s recent lawsuit filing against Costco Wholesale Corp. The jewelry company claims that Costco sold counterfeit rings claiming they were Tiffany products.
If you purchased an item or two from one of these counterfeit sites, you are not alone. With 78 websites shut down, you know there are thousands of people out there holding fake Tiffany pieces. Getting these sites shut down will protect others from the same problem.