SW Legal studies in Business

Willful Violation of Lanham Act Allows Treble Damages
Description Court ordered that in addition to an injunction against further sales of false origin goods, the seller that violated the Lanham Act would pay the trademark owner treble damages plus attorney fees.
Topic Intellectual Property
Key Words Trademark, Infringement, False Origin, Lanham Act, Damages
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts

Cartier makes a line of watches called Tank Francaise. It sued Symbolix, run by Saleh, for buying and modifying the watches to simulate a more expensive line of Cartier watches. Cartier contended that the modified watches violated the Lanham Act as a counterfeit product of false origin. The court issued a permanent injunction against Saleh for his illegal activities. Cartier then sued for damages under the Lanham Act.

Decision

Cartier is entitled to statutory damages under the Lanham Act. The sale of altered watches with the original mark retained on the face of the watch was the sale of a counterfeit good. The infringement was willful, so damages would be trebled. The damages are based on profits earned by Saleh from the sales he engaged in, after costs. Attorney fees would also be awarded, as provided by the Lanham Act.

Citation Cartier v. Symbolix Inc., ---F.Supp.2d--- (2008 WL 857632, S.D.N.Y., 2008)

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