When you are the owner of highly valuable intellectual property, such as a highly sought-after luxury brand, you can combat counterfeiters by suing for infringement. However, simply getting a judgment at some date months or years in the future may not be enough. Those months or years of delay represent months or years of counterfeit goods flooding into the market and months or years of the value of your brand being diluted by those low-quality fakes. To prevent that, then, you may be able to obtain a preliminary injunction. That preliminary injunction stops the defendant from continuing in engaging in the harmful action, even before you’ve obtained a final judgment in your favor. To find out more about protecting your brand if you’ve been similarly harmed, be sure to reach out to a knowledgeable South Florida commercial litigation attorney right away.
A case from the federal court here in South Florida is an example of what a successful injunction request looks like. The intellectual property owner was a French fashion house and designer of luxury items. The designer owned numerous trademarks regarding lettering and designs that it used as its logos. At some point, the designer learned that an online retailer allegedly was selling cheap knock-off goods bearing imitations of the designer’s logos.
These inferior-quality counterfeit goods had the risk of diminishing or destroying consumers’ confidence in the brand’s reputation for luxury and highest quality. To stop this harm, the designer needed to stop the continued marketing and selling of counterfeit goods right away.
To get a preliminary injunction, you need proof in four key areas. They are: (1) that your case has a “substantial likelihood of success on the merits,” (2) that your business will suffer “irreparable injury” if you do not get the injunction you seek, (3) that the harm your business would suffer would be greater than the harm the injunction would inflict on the defendant, and (4) that granting your injunction “would serve the public interest.”
In the designer’s case, it provided to the court evidence related to the “strong probability” of consumers being confused by the defendants’ alleged counterfeits and the defendants’ marketing of those alleged counterfeits. It also had evidence that allowing the defendants to continue selling the products would further the process of diminishing the brand’s reputation for high quality.
The court also concluded that the damage to the designer’s reputation and goodwill far outweighed the possible harm to the defendant. Lastly, the court noted that the “public interest favors” injunctions that “protect the public from being defrauded by the palming off of counterfeit goods” as the real thing.
Those were all four of the quartet of required pieces, so the designer was entitled to the injunction it sought.
If your business is being harmed by someone who is counterfeiting your products or otherwise misappropriating your intellectual property, you need to take action… immediately. Reach out to the skilled South Florida commercial litigation attorneys at Stok Kon + Braverman. Our attorneys are committed to using every legal tool available to protect you and your business from those who would steal or misuse your trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property.
Contact us online or by calling (954) 237-1777 to schedule your consultation.