November 6, 2012 - Luxury handbag manufacturer Coach won $257 million in its trademark infringement suit against a whopping 573 website owners that were selling knockoffs of Coach purses online.
Though Coach is unlikely to collect the $257 million from the defendants because they are a widely scattered collection of (mostly foreign) infringers whose shady websites have domain names like "mycheapcoach" and "us-coach-bags," the award - the largest damages award of its kind to date - sends a strong message to other counterfeiters.
Plus, the judge ruled that Coach can have the infringing websites shut down because they are cybersquatting and violating Illinois' Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Since 2009, Coach has had an anti-counterfeiting campaign in place called "Operation Turnlock," a reference to the brass closures Coach uses on its handbags. This past July, Coach won a $44 million damages award against a mother-daughter counterfeiting team in Syosset, New York.