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LG wins major counterfeit headsets case and scores over $168 million

Finnegan’s longstanding client LG Electronics won a major victory in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, which awarded more than $168 million in damages in a trademark counterfeiting case against nearly 20 companies accused of selling counterfeit and knock-off LG headsets. Although the Lanham Act gives courts broad discretion in determining the amount of statutory damages—allowing damages of anywhere from $200,000 to $2 million per mark if the counterfeiting is found to be willful—the court decided to award the statutory maximum of $2 million per mark given the strength and recognition of the LG brand and TONE™ products. Notably, the ruling has considerable teeth, as it came with a provision ordering financial payment providers to hand over funds previously frozen under the court’s preliminary injunction order.