After filing a US civil lawsuit in June, Belstaff will receive more than $42 million in damages from a total of 676 websites charged with selling counterfeit goods under the British brand’s name. "We are delighted with the results from the ruling," said Elena Mauri, head of Belstaff's legal team, in an official statement. "There are other high profile luxury brands that have taken advantage of the US counterfeiting law, however we believe that our case has set the bar even higher due to the unprecedented number of sites that were taken down in one go."
Belstaff worked with MarkMonitor, a company that focuses on enterprise brand protection, to discover 3,000 websites selling counterfeit products — mostly outerwear items, including knockoffs of the brand's popular leather jackets and a number of outdated designs that are no longer in production. (Of the thousands of websites revealed, up to 800 domains were operated by a single individual based in China.) The four-month long process also allowed MarkMonitor and Belstaff to cease operation of the top 20 websites originally cited in the brand's legal case.
Keeping up with trademark infringement online is a time-consuming and expensive job for luxury brands, but an increasingly important one as such brands work to create their own exclusive e-commerce experiences. And judging (no pun intended) by the swift success of Belstaff's case, it can truly pay off.