California is the home of the entertainment industry, and that industry can also spawn disputes over copyrights, trademarks and counterfeit fan-oriented merchandise. The Beatles have filed a lawsuit against 48 different websites for selling counterfeit fan gear with the band’s logo, work or other trademarks. The suit, filed by the band’s companies Apple Corps and Subafilms, lists a number of internet vendors and aliases that the band alleges have sold items that feature imitations of Beatles merchandise and images.
In the suit, the band alleges that the internet companies are engaging in trademark infringement, trademark counterfeiting, unfair competition, common law trademark infringement and false designation of origins in order to defraud potential customers. Most of the defendant companies are based outside the United States in countries that are well-known to have very little or no trademark enforcement. The vendors sold the products on global sites like eBay, Amazon and Etsy as well as their own websites.
The Beatles are asking for the court to issue injunctions against the production, distribution, marketing and sale of the products and to block the domain names used by the counterfeit vendors. They are also seeking removal of the products from major commercial sites as well as damages of $2 million for each counterfeit product. The goods involved include menswear, women’s clothing, children’s goods, bed linens, housewares, mobile phone cases, jewelry and accessories, backpacks and bags. The lawsuit also alleges that unlike the Beatles’ genuine fan products, these goods were low quality and poorly made.
Especially in today’s global marketplace, counterfeit items can easily be sold to a worldwide audience. An intellectual property litigation attorney can help companies facing losses due to copyright and trademark infringements protect their intellectual property in the courtroom.