Moose Knuckles Wins Counterfeiting Case Against 26 Chinese Agents

Press enter to search
Close search
Open Menu

Moose Knuckles Wins Counterfeiting Case Against 26 Chinese Agents

02/28/2017
A federal court in Chicago (Case No. 16-cv-11618) has awarded outerwear and lifestyle brand Moose Knuckles $52 million (CAD $68.5 million) in damages against 26 China-based defendants who were each found to be operating "rogue" Moose Knuckles websites and selling counterfeits of Moose Knuckles apparel and accessories.

United States District Judge Robert M. Dow Jr. issued the award as part of final judgment and permanent injunction finding that each defendant had engaged in willful trademark counterfeiting and copyright infringement and that each was in default. In addition to monetary damages, the court ordered that 33 domain names used by the defendants to sell counterfeit Moose Knuckles products, many of which had previously been disabled under a temporary restraining order, be permanently locked and transferred to Moose International.

"This judgment has played a pivotal role in our company's anti-counterfeiting strategy and will allow Moose Knuckles to take more effective and efficient action against online counterfeiters moving forward," said Noah Stern, CEO, Moose International Inc.

Each of the "rogue" web sites in the litigation was designed to appear to be an official Moose Knuckles site or an authorized retailer of Moose Knuckles products. The counterfeiters copied marketing images, pictures of Moose Knuckles products and detailed product descriptions directly from Moose Knuckles' own website. Many of the "rogue" sites were set up with domain names incorporating the name "Moose Knuckles," such as www.moose-knuckles-fans.com, www.mooseknucklesoutletonline.com, and www.mooseknucklesca.org.

"Online counterfeiting through rogue websites is of particular concern to our customers because the sites look authentic and may offer products at only a slight discount from our suggested retail price," said Ayal Twik, president, Moose International Inc. "These sites seem so much more credible than a vendor at a flea market. Usually, it's not until the jacket arrives in the mail that our customers see the poor quality of the product and realize they have been cheated."

In order to avoid detection, the counterfeiters operated under multiple false and incomplete identities. "Unfortunately, the internet provides counterfeiters with the advantage of anonymity along with the ability to set up multiple web stores cheaply and quickly where they operate from foreign locations beyond the reach of US or Canadian authorities," said Brad Evans, a director for Anti-Counterfeiting Strategy Group, advisors for Moose Knuckles in this lawsuit. "Court awards like this allow companies who play by the rules to disable the 'rogue' websites and freeze counterfeiters' assets - we are taking some of that advantage back." 

Moose Knuckles was represented in this case by Greer, Burns & Crain, Ltd.