Coach, Inc. v. Sexy Fashion

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Trademarks, Infringement
  • Date Filed: 06-25-2013
  • Case #: 12-05713 RSWL
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • LexisNexis Citation: 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90240
  • Westlaw Citation: 2013 WL 3233393
  • Full Text Opinion

Willful infringement requires a connection between the defendant's awareness of its competitors and the defendant's actions at those competitors' expense.

Opinion (Lew): In April 2012, Coach Inc. ("Coach") discovered that Sexy Fashion and Blanca Montes ("Defendants") were selling counterfeit reproductions of their handbags. An infringement suit was brought against the Defendants in March 2013. The Defendants failed to appear in the action. Accordingly, Coach filed for default judgment. The Court found that Coach met procedural and other requirements for default judgment. Pursuant to the Lanham Act, Coach is entitled to recover statutory damages. A plaintiff may recover statutory damages "not less than $1,000 or more than $200,000 per counterfeit mark per type of goods or services sold. Where a defendant's conduct is willful, a court may grant enhanced statutory damages for "not more than $2,000,000 per counterfeit mark per type of goods or services sold, offered for sale, or distributed, as the court considers just. Willfulness requires a connection between the defendant's awareness of its competitors and the defendant's actions at those competitors' expense. Based on the findings, the Court GRANTED default judgment and awarded Coach $40,000 in statutory damages.

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