Moose Knuckles awarded $52m in counterfeit trial
Canadian outerwear and lifestyle brand Moose Knuckles has been awarded a $52 million verdict (CAD $68.5 million) in a federal trial against counterfeit merchants.
A total of 26 China-based defendants were each found to be operating "rogue" Moose Knuckles websites and selling counterfeits of Moose Knuckles apparel and accessories. The "rogue" web sites in the litigation each appeared to be an official Moose Knuckles site or an authorized retailer of Moose Knuckles products. The web sites copied marketing images, pictures of Moose Knuckles products and detailed product descriptions directly from Moose Knuckles' own website, as well as used domain names incorporating the name "Moose Knuckles," such as Moose-knuckles-fans.com, Mooseknucklesoutletonline.com, and Mooseknucklesca.org.
In addition to monetary damages, the court has also ordered that the 33 domain names be permanently locked and transferred to Moose International.
District Judge Robert M. Dow Jr. of Chicago issued the award as part of his final judgment and permanent injunction finding that each defendant had engaged in willful trademark counterfeiting and copyright infringement.
Moose Knuckles CEO, Noah Stern, says the judgment has played “a pivotal role” in the company's anti-counterfeiting strategy and will “allow Moose Knuckles to take more effective and efficient action against online counterfeiters moving forward.”
"Online counterfeiting through rogue websites is of particular concern to our customers because the sites look authentic and may offer products at only a slight discount from our suggested retail price," says Ayal Twik, President, Moose International Inc, in a news statement. "These sites seem so much more credible than a vendor at a flea market. Usually, it's not until the jacket arrives in the mail that our customers see the poor quality of the product and realize they have been cheated."
Moose Knuckles was founded in 2007. Their duck down-filled coats can be found in luxury retailers around the world.
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