A big win for the fashion industry last Friday, when it was announced that a New York federal court had found in favor of designer/brand Tory Burch and awarded the company $164 million in damages, to be paid out by the owners of hundreds of websites who had been selling knock-offs of their products, chiefly Burch’s Reva ballet flats. The suit was filed at the end of last year, alleging that a group believed to be located in China had set up 232 individual sites which were “designed to appear to unsuspecting consumers to be an official Tory Burch site or an authorized retailer of Tory Burch products.” The suit also detailed how the group swiped images and product descriptions from the company’s official site and used them for their own knock-off pages. The courtroom win not only nets Burch the $164 million, but the court also ordered that all 232 sites and domain names be immediately shut down and handed over to the company. That shut down and hand over action has also been put into place for potential future copyright infringing sites. The ruling is “believed to be the largest ever issued in the fashion industry” against this sort of online, knock-off swindling, and has likely been received as another move toward the positive within an industry that has fought to clamp down on counterfeiters.
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