Apple-owned Beats has filed a complaint at the District Court of Illinois this week against counterfeiters selling fake versions of its premium headphones.
Apple-owned Beats has filed a complaint at the District Court of Illinois this week against counterfeiters selling fake versions of its premium headphones. According to the filing, Beats is taking action to fight online counterfeiters using the company's reputation to sell unlicensed counterfeit products sporting the Beats trademark.
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Beats said that the defendants, found to be residing in China, built websites and operated online stores that targeted consumers from Illinois and other areas in the U.S.
"The Defendants create the Defendant Internet Stores by the hundreds or even thousands and design them to appear to be selling genuine Beats products, while actually selling low-quality Counterfeit Beats Products to unknowing consumers," it said.
Apparently, Beats has been tracking thousands of domain names linked to a counterfeit ring. These fake websites reportedly generated a whopping $135 billion in annual online sales, according to Beats.
The counterfeiters reportedly accepted payments through Western Union, PayPal, and credit card portals. They then shipped the fake headsets in small quantities through international mail to escape the prying eyes of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Now Beats is asking the defendants to return all earnings from the sale of the fake headphones. Otherwise, Beats is willing to accept $2 million for each infringement of the company's trademark and $100,000 for every infringing domain name.