For Fendi, imitation is clearly not the sincerest form of flattery. After filing an injunction against Burlington Coat Factory back in 1987 to bar the off-price retailer from selling counterfeit Fendi-branded goods, followed by a cease-and-desist letter in 2004 and an eventual lawsuit in 2006, the luxury house finally got its victorious day in court. Not only will the injunction remain in place permanently, but an out-of-court settlement totaling more than $10 million dollars will be due to the brand, WWD reports.
In February, a federal judge first ordered Burlington Coat Factory to pay Fendi $4.7 million dollars for violating the injunction, which was supplemented by an additional amount recommended by a judge in August for $5.6 million dollars. A settlement was reached yesterday, to which Fendi's chairman Michael Burke commented the court's rulings were reassuring that, "the retailer is responsible for making sure the trademarked products sold to the public are authentic, and that the consequences when a retailer sells counterfeit goods are serious."
Whereas in the past, the onus has been on the aggrieved party to prove its copyright has been infringed upon or its trademark is being sold as counterfeit, this marks a turning point within the fashion industry and the judicial handling of such cases.
And a word to retailers selling questionable goods: don't mess with Fendi. This is the third time in the last six months for which the luxury brand has received settlement payments over trademark infringement lawsuits.