Chanel, France’s favourite luxury brand, is suing Eric Williams, an entrepreneur from Lithonia, Georgia, for $2 million dollars. The brand claims that he is infringing on its trademarks by marketing and selling counterfeit products bearing the company’s logo through his Haus of Ebon accessories store at bonanza.com/booths/hausofebon.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Atlanta, states that the cosmetic cases and sunglasses cases bearing the Chanel logo cause confusion and deceive customers.
It’s not the first time Chanel have gone after a small business for trademark infringement. Just last month an Australian chocolatier was forced to change the logo of her chocolate brand after receiving threat from Chanel. Alison Peck, owner of the chocolate brand Chocolate @ No 5, was contacted by lawyers from Chanel when she attempted to register a trademark for her logo. Ms. Peck had bought the chocolate shop, which already had its name and logo, in March 2010. The name Chocolate @ No.5 comes from the business’ address, which is 5 Mount Barker Road. Similarly, in 2014, the brand sued an Indiana beauty salon owner for trademark infringement. The lawsuit claimed that ‘Chanel’s Salon’ infringed on its registered trademark and was benefiting from the Chanel name. This, it claimed, could fool customers into thinking the salon is somehow connected to the luxury brand. The owner of the salon, Ms. Chanel Jones, reportedly ignored several cease and desist letters and continued to operate the salon under the infringing name. Although Chanel acknowledged the fact that the defendant’s name was Chanel in the lawsuit, it argued that she didn’t have a right to market her name at the expense of the company’s trademark!
In the current lawsuit against Eric Williams, Chanel is seeking profits from the sales of the counterfeit items as well as damages in the amount of $2 million for each violation of its trademark.