from the sorry-about-that dept
The various luxury brand companies are pretty quick with trademark lawsuits these days — often going well beyond reason. We’ve seen it time and time again — especially when they sue third parties like Google or eBay. So I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising that in their rush to sue, they don’t always check all the facts… leading to hilarious scenarios like the one brought to our attention where Gucci accidentally sued Chanel and even got a temporary restraining order against the company.
The timeline, as far as I can tell, goes like this. Last year, Chanel and LVMH sued some websites that were selling counterfeit goods. One of those websites was called MyPurseWorld.com. In a ruling last June, a federal district court in Florida transferred that domain to Chanel, who began using the website to post the court ruling and to post info about other counterfeiting sites. Fair enough (well, I might argue that, but we’ll leave it aside for now).
However, earlier this month, Gucci sued a bunch of sites for trademark infringement — including MyPurseWorld.com. Apparently whoever put together the lawsuit hadn’t checked out the site since last June, or discovered that Chanel now owned it and it was being used by that company to post anti-counterfeiting info. So, basically Gucci sued Chanel, claiming that its MyPurseWorld.com site was selling counterfeit Gucci products. They even had Chanel served as a defendant. On top of that, a district court in Manhattan granted a restraining order against “the website or its owner” barring web hosts or ISPs from working with them. Technically, yes, this could have meant that Chanel couldn’t work with webhosts or ISPs. Of course, Chanel protested and Gucci quickly backed down, admitting “a minor bit of confusion.”
I’m still a bit confused why the judge would totally bar a site from working with a webhost or ISP, but we’ll leave that discussion for another day.