Even if your ability to spot at fake is not quite on par with my sixth sense, many can recognize the prevalent, shamefully obvious fakes adorned with cheap, tacky plaid that try to pass themselves off as Burberry. And for all those low budget retailers who assuage their guilt with the justifications that trademark infringement is hard to prove and even harder to win, January brought some news sure to ruffle their parroting feathers.
While it is not about the money, Burberry was awarded a nice $1.5 million in its suit against Designer Imports, Inc. this past Januray (as originally reported by WWD) after alleging the retailer sold counterfeit goods. The US District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) found in favor of the English design veteran and awarded them statutory damages based largely on the distinctive trade dress that Burberry has established (just ask any girl over the age of 15 living in New York for proof that their Nova Check is in fact 'distinctive' within the legal sense). This is a big win for fashion originalists, who, like Justice Scalia and the Constitution, believe contemporary interpretation or adjustment for modern convention is inappropriate when evaluating the law as it was conceived.
Burberry is getting busy. On March 3rd they sued TJX Co (who operates TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods) for selling knock-offs in a variety of apparel-related categories. As such suits gain momentum, expect more 3rd party defendants (real estate lessors, production counterparts) to be named. I'd take it to the streets and begin making citizen arrests of those I see so blatantly and wantonly flaunting their faux bags with the audacity bred by sheer ignorance. (Have you seen FX's new series Justified? I'd be the US Marshall who gets reprimanded for over zealousness on the job.) Perhaps you will take a more critical eye to your coworker's new tote, or that woman's suspicious carryall on the train tomorrow morning.