Luxury handbag company Coach has won another counterfeit battle in its war on fake fashion! The landmark ruling will see the brand receive a $5.5 million settlement from the owner of a Florida-based flea market by the name of the Swap Shop. It is the first US ruling to hold a property owner accountable for counterfeit merchandise, rather than websites or factories. According to WWD, the Swap Shop has been selling fake luxury goods since 2004.
The counterfeit problem is estimated to have grown by 10,000 per cent in the past two decades, fuelled by rocketing consumer demand and advances in technology. The biggest problem faced by luxury fashion designers is the dilution of their brand. When a brand that is synonymous with luxury and exclusivity is copied extensively and inferior products bearing the brand’s logo are made available, the brand is less attractive to its customers. Not surprisingly, stifling the supply of counterfeit goods is of paramount importance to luxury fashion brands.
Coach have a special section of their website devoted to counterfeit education, advising consumers how to spot and report fakes. The brand is also involved in a slew of anti-counterfeiting litigation in a campaign named “Operation Turnlock” which began in May 2009. So far the accessories firm has filed over 650 lawsuits and has received millions in judgments and settlements.
Speaking about the ruling, Coach’s deputy general counsel Nancy Axilrod said;
“I’m happy to say we haven’t lost a single case, but this case is the one we are most proud of. They definitely put up a long and difficult battle for us. Before this, they were either ignoring us or sending back dumb excuses and combative explanations.”