Internet Trademark Case Summaries
Tiffany (NJ) Inc. v. Luban
282 F. Supp. 2d 123 (S.D.N.Y. 2003)
Plaintiff, the producer of famous TIFFANY jewelry and luxury goods, sued defendant regarding its Internet sales of counterfeit goods bearing plaintiff’s TIFFANY trademarks. After plaintiff sent a cease-and-desist letter to defendant with no success, plaintiff sued for trademark counterfeiting. Defendant never answered the complaint, and the court granted plaintiff’s motion for default judgment. Plaintiff elected to recover statutory damages instead of actual damages under the counterfeiting provision of the Lanham Act. Plaintiff identified 28 different counterfeit TIFFANY items on defendant’s website, each infringing at least four of plaintiff’s marks. Because of the default judgment, defendant’s infringement was deemed willful, which entitled plaintiff to recover between $500 and $1,000,000 per counterfeit mark per type of product sold. Using these guidelines, plaintiff submitted that it could be entitled to as much as $100 million in statutory damages and urged the court to award no less than $550,000. The court awarded plaintiff $550,000 in statutory damages based on defendant’s willful infringement and use of the Internet to pursue an unlimited customer base. The court also awarded plaintiff attorney’s fees in the amount of $23,818.64.