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Combating Counterfeiting: Legal Actions by Meta and Christian Louboutin, and Gucci's Lawsuits in New York

Counterfeiting remains a persistent menace in the fashion industry, posing a threat to brand reputations and impacting the global economy. Recently, two separate cases have shed light on the ongoing efforts of major corporations such as Meta and Christian Louboutin, as well as Gucci, to combat this devastating phenomenon.


Writer: Khaled El Karout

Posted the 27th Nov. 2023

Meta and Christian Louboutin: A Legal Alliance

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has recently joined forces with the renowned luxury shoe designer, Christian Louboutin, in a joint legal action against an individual operating a counterfeiting operation from Mexico. This individual was utilizing digital platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, to promote the sale of counterfeit products bearing the Christian Louboutin logo.

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that the defendant violated Meta's Terms of Service and Instagram's Terms of Use, while also infringing upon Christian Louboutin's intellectual property rights. Meta's strict policies against intellectual property infringement have resulted in multiple enforcement actions, including the suspension of the defendant's Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp accounts.

Meta highlighted its robust measures for intellectual property protection, including proactive detection, a global notice-and-takedown program, and tools like Brand Rights Protection, Rights Manager, and the Intellectual Property Reporting API. In the second half of 2022, over 1.7 million pieces of content were removed in response to more than 180,000 counterfeit reports, demonstrating Meta's commitment to maintaining platform safety.

This legal action serves as a clear warning to those seeking to exploit Meta's platforms for illegal activities, emphasizing severe consequences for such offenses.

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Gucci: Legal Offensives in the United States

On the other front, Gucci, the iconic brand under the Kering group, is also escalating its fight against counterfeiting. Through its U.S. subsidiary, Gucci America Inc, Gucci has filed multiple complaints in a New York court, targeting recognized distributors in the American market.

Lord & Taylor, Sam's Club, Century 21, and Saks Off Fifth are accused of selling counterfeit products under the Gucci brand. Following a thorough investigation, Gucci asserts that it has taken legal measures to protect its customers from retailers profiting from the sale of counterfeit products.

The targeted retailers play significant roles in U.S. distribution. Lord & Taylor, the oldest American department store chain, admitted to selling counterfeit products. Century 21, known for offering discounted brand-name clothing, pledged to remove counterfeit products during its investigation. Sam's Club withdrew remaining stocks of counterfeit products from its stores and website.

Gucci's complaints include allegations of counterfeiting, trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false designation of origin. Gucci seeks an injunction and damages, underscoring its commitment to safeguarding its image and customers.

These legal actions, both by Meta and Christian Louboutin and by Gucci, underscore the importance of collective efforts against counterfeiting. Brands continue to strengthen their defenses, and inter-industry collaboration remains crucial in developing effective solutions to protect the fashion industry from this persistent menace.

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