Off-White files multi-million dollar lawsuit against Wish.com for selling fakes
Virgil Abloh's Off-White has sued e-commerce marketplace Wish.com for selling counterfeit Off-White goods. Off-White is suing the site for lost profits and $2 million per infringement which could total $300 million.
The complaint, which was filed in New York federal court last month, was unsealed last week. Abloh submitted a memorandum along with the complaint that contented that selling fakes damaged the "inherent value" of the brand.
Abloh's memorandum also said the counterfeit Off-White goods have damaged the relationship the brand has with consumers and retailers, adding that the availability of fakes on the site have curtailed Off-White's "ability to attract new customers."
While Wish.com's parent company, ContextLogic, is not a named party in the suit, it filed its own document saying Off-White failed to follow the site's procedure for removing counterfeit goods.
Maral Benham-Garcia, ContextLogic's brand protection manager, argued that the site has an established notice and takedown program where infringing products and counterfeit sellers are identified and registered. Off-White did not follow that procedure before filing suit last month.
Abloh, who was recently appointed as Louis Vuitton's new men's creative director, is keenly aware of the value of the brand he built, noting that its growth is due to “word-of-mouth buzz that its consumers have generated.”
Similarly to Louis Vuitton, which actively protects its intellectual property and trademarks, the burden is on Off-White to proactively fight against counterfeit sellers and product. Nonetheless, this type of lawsuit tends to end in a default judgement, as defendants are extremely hard to locate and often operate from overseas.
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