Counterfeit Goods Plunge Nike’s Reputation

Counterfeiting basically means to imitate an original product for illegal transactions, to steal and destroy the reputation of the original product and deceive consumers into believing that the counterfeit product is of equal value to that of the original product.

Counterfeit goods contain fake logos of the original brand which are almost similar to that of the original product. These counterfeited goods are made of lower quality material and later manufactured and distributed in the market without prior permission of the registered owner of the brand.

LAW SUIT BY NIKE FOR COUNTERFEITING

Nike is suing almost 1000 websites including the owners of individual social media accounts, allegedly selling counterfeit versions of its Nike converse shoes online.

The company filed a suit before the U.S District Court, in which they stated that the trademark owned by Nike is well known among purchasers, traders, consumers and manufacturers and that it is widely recognized worldwide. As Nike is very popular among most of the consumers around the world, the authenticity of their products holds great importance to all their customers.

Nike alleged that the defendants are offering to sell/ selling/ manufacturing/ advertising counterfeit Nike converse shoes to consumers through separate networks based in China, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and other foreign jurisdictions. Most of the websites advertising these counterfeited goods contain false descriptions about the authenticity of the products that are being offered for sale which in turn results in enormous loss and brings in bad reputation for the Nike brand. Some of the websites even contained identical and deceptively similar domain names similar to the trademark of Nike.

Nike also sued more than 100 individuals and companies referring to them as ABC company.

Some of the websites offering to sell these counterfeit products, freely admit that the Nike converse shoes are duplicate versions of the original Nike products. As the word “duplicate” is often used as a soft term to indicate counterfeited goods, these websites fail to understand the damage caused to the original company.

Nike also put allegations of Trademark Infringement, Trademark Counterfeiting, Trademark Cyberpiracy and other illegal actions on the defendants under the New York state laws.

RELIEF SOUGHT BY NIKE

Nike have requested the Court for immediate injunction, to put stay on the manufacture and sale of the counterfeit Nike products; to order for destruction of all the existing advertisements and counterfeiting products and for seizure of all transaction records relating to the counterfeit goods.

Nike also wants the Court to order the defendants to compensate by way of damages by paying triple of the amount of what earned from the illegal sale of the counterfeit products or a statutory profit of a maximum of $2million for each product willfully counterfeited by the defendants. Nike also wanted the Court to order the defendants to pay punitive damages, reimburse the fees spent on lawyer for the filing and maintenance of the suit, and statutory damage of $10000 per infringed domain name.

CONCLUSION

People often tend to buy counterfeit products thinking they would get the replica of the original product at a much lesser price. But this cheap price comes at a high cost for the actual owner of the brand, and results in heavy damages to the company.

It is evident for a well-known brand like Nike to defend its trademark from such infringement and counterfeiting. This is not the first suit filed by Nike for infringement and counterfeiting. Previously, they have also sued a famous streetwear designer brand for copyright infringement.

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Bharat Sharma
Pallavi Paul

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