Chanel Accuses E-retailer Jeen of Counterfeiting Infringing Products

The French luxury fashion brand Chanel has filed a multi-million dollar trademark lawsuit against the online retailer Jeen over iphone cases that it claims bears a resemblance to the No.5 perfume bottle clutch purse from the brands 2014 Cruise collection.

Seen on Celebs such as Rihanna, Alexa Chung, Miroslava Duma and Diane Kruger the clutch costs an estimated $9,900, and Jeen have been retailing a very similar perfume bottle-inspired iphone case for $35.

In a lawsuit filed December 15th at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, the Paris based fashion brand Chanel has accused the retailer Jeen of “directly engaging in the sale of counterfeit and infringing products,” and maintains that “the defendants have used in connection with the sale of infringing goods, false designations of origins and false descriptions and representations, words [and] other symbols and trade dress which tend to falsely describe…goods in commerce…to the detriment of Chanel.”

Chanel’s complaint focuses on the Shop Jeen’s use of the Chanel trademarks in the “same stylised fashion” but for a different class of goods, and also Jeen’s advertising, which it claims is a “misappropriation of Chanel’s advertising ideas in the form of the Chanel marks.” Chanel argues that the defendants identified infringing activities “are likely to cause confusion, deception, and mistake in the minds of consumers, the public, and the trade. Moreover, the defendants wrongful conduct is likely to create a false impression and deceive customers, the public, and the trade into believing there is a connection or association between Chanel genuine goods and the defendants infringing goods.”

Specifically, the complaint asserts that the “defendants have authorised an infringing use of the Chanel marks, in the defendants advertisements and promotion of their counterfeit and infringing cell phone covers [and] have misrepresented to members of the consuming public that they’re infringing goods advertised and sold by them are genuine, non-infringing products.” The complaint makes clear that these “advertising activities has been the proximate cause of damage to Chanel.” And that the defendant actions are in violation of section 43(a) of the lanham act, 15 U.S.C 1125(a) the "likelihood of confusion" standard for infringement, which forbids the importation of goods that infringe registered trademarks, and restrict, through the use of injunctions and damages, the use of false descriptions and trademark dilution.

According to the complaint Chanel has ordered that the Shop Jeen pay $2 million for the alleged infringing product sold as well as its legal fees and asked the court for “a permanent injunction preventing the defendants and their agents from manufacturing or causing to be manufactured, advertised or promoted distributing, selling or offering to sell there in fringing goods using the Chanel marks, or any logo, trade name or trademark or trade dress which may be calculated to falsely advertise the services of products.”

More on this case soon.