That’s a pretty big sum for a trademark infringement case, litigated in a federal court in Northern California. What is interesting is it wasn’t levied against some knock off artists directly. Instead, the charge was contributory infringement (kind of like aiding and abetting) against web site hosts that allowed fake L.V. hand bags to be sold via the Web. This ruling will potentially have a big impact in the world of online retail. The case bears some similarity to Napster, which dealt with copyrights and online music exchanges. In the L.V. case, however, it will be much harder in the future for fake goods sellers and their web hosts to escape unnoticed. This is, in sum, a big victory for trademark owners.
The full business wire story is here.