On December 20, 2023, the District Court of The Hague rendered a judgement in favor of Coty (licensee of world famous perfumes brands as Hugo Boss and Chloé) and two counterfeiters finally have to face the consequences of their acts.
The case started with an investigation more than 3 years ago against a young couple supplying fake perfumes to counterfeit resellers throughout the Netherlands. More than 10 different user ID’s on Marktplaats.nl and other market places in addition to a cluster of telephone numbers without subscriptions were used. Numerous test purchases were made, every time leading to the same duo hiding behind different names. Both infringers ignored the demand letters sent by LXA Attorneys and daringly continued their profitable counterfeit operations using foreign bank accounts offshoring profits made. Coty did not accept their ignorant attitude and went to court, convinced of the duo acting in bad faith.
The defendants denied any involvement, but this denial was not supported by any evidence. On the other hand Coty provided abundant evidence showing the involvement of the defendants in large scale counterfeiting. The court followed the reasoning of Coty and both defendants are held jointly and severally liable for the illegal profits made and the legal fees incurred by Coty. They also have to disclose all infringing transactions including all supplier information within 30 days. In the event of non-compliance a penalty of max 50,000 euro will become due. Separate proceedings to determine the hight of the damages will follow after the full disclosure of all purchases and sales by the defendants. For the counterfeiting duo it is the beginning of the end. Remaining stock has to be abandoned and handed over. With its decision the District Court of The Hague sends an important signal to brand owners and counterfeiters. Important, because it is makes clear the offering of counterfeit products is against the law. It is also a boost for the moral of brand owners who sometimes get discouraged by the illegal trade parasitizing their business. This victory is a won battle in the war against counterfeiting. Not the first, and most likely not the last.
Fleur Boom and Gie van den Broek (LXA Attorneys) are proud to have represented Coty in this matter.