Luxury purse maker says local retailer sold fakes
By Joe Beck -- firstname.lastname@example.org
A maker of luxury gifts and accessories lowered the boom Monday on a Winchester retailer in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg.
New York City-based Coach, Inc. and Coach Services, Inc. filed a lawsuit accusing Huong Ngoc Nguyen of selling fake Coach purses, wallets, jewelry, watches, accessories and footwear out of two stores she operates in Apple Blossom Mall.
"Defendant has no license, authority, or other permission from Coach to use any of the Coach trademarks in connection with the designing, manufacturing, advertising, promoting, distributing, selling and offering for sale of the infringing products," the suit states.
Coach investigators, accompanied by uniformed Virginia State Police armed with search warrants, raided Europe Nails and Perfect Nails on July 19, according to the lawsuit complaint. The investigators and state police seized 32 handbags and 15 wallets bearing the Coach trademark, "among other counterfeit products from various brands," according to the suit.
An additional eight handbags and wallets with Coach trademarks were seized from Perfect Nails, the complaint states.
The plaintiff accuses Nguyen of actions that "are likely to continue to cause confusion or mistake, or to deceive consumers, the public and the trade into believing the defendants' . . . products are genuine or authorized products of Coach."
The suit asks Nguyen, of Bunker Hill, W. Va., to pay Coach $2 million in statutory damages per counterfeit mark on items seized or a court order requiring Nguyen to "pay to Coach all profits realized by their wrongful acts and also awarding Coach its actual damages, and also directing that such profits and damages" be tripled.
The suit describes Coach products as "widely recognized and exclusively associated by consumers, the public and the trade as high quality products." Coach products are "among the most popular in the world" with annual sales of more than $3 billion, the suit states.