Meta and Christian Louboutin joined forces this week to file a joint lawsuit in opposition to a person allegedly operating a counterfeiting operation from Mexico.
Based on the swimsuit, which was filed within the U.S. District Courtroom for the Northern District of California on Thursday, Meta and Louboutin allege that Cesar Octavio Guerrero Alejo violated Meta’s phrases of service and Instagram’s phrases of use and infringed Christian Louboutin’s mental property rights by utilizing Fb and Instagram accounts to advertise the sale of counterfeit Christian Louboutin merchandise.
Within the grievance, Meta and Louboutin declare that since at the least June 2020 and persevering with till at the least Might 2023, Cesar Octavio Guerrero Alejo has operated a web based enterprise, trafficking in unlawful counterfeit items together with pretend Louboutin-branded footwear, purses and equipment, in violation of Meta’s phrases.
All informed, the lawsuit claims that Alejo created and maintained at the least 44 Fb person accounts from Might 3, 2010, by way of Jan. 11, 2023, in addition to at the least 32 Instagram accounts from Oct. 15, 2015, by way of Dec. 28, 2022.
Meta additional claimed within the swimsuit that it had beforehand disabled Alejo’s accounts and eliminated posts for selling the sale of counterfeit items in violation of Meta’s phrases, which prohibit violating the mental property rights of others.
Regardless of Meta’s enforcement efforts, the swimsuit added that Alejo continued to make use of Fb and Instagram to advertise the sale of Louboutin-branded counterfeit items and the unauthorized use of a number of of Louboutin’s registered logos, together with notably: the Christian Louboutin phrase mark, the Christian Louboutin and Louboutin script signature brand marks and the purple sole brand mark.
Alejo was additionally allegedly caught within the act of promoting pretend Louboutins, the grievance stated.
On Might 13, 2023, the lawsuit stated, Louboutin’s agent bought a pair of counterfeit footwear from the defendant marketed on considered one of his Instagram accounts, “el_oso_shop.” The swimsuit said that Louboutin’s agent communicated with the defendant by way of WhatsApp and made fee to the defendant by way of a Western Union location within the San Francisco space.
Alejo then confirmed receipt of the Western Union fee on the identical day, and on Might 17 Louboutin’s agent acquired a DHL cargo at its San Francisco deal with with a return deal with from Culiacán, Sinaloa, in Mexico. The cargo contained a field with a pair of footwear in a white fabric bag with a number of references to “Christian Louboutin.” The footwear have been deemed counterfeit upon receipt.
Each Meta and Louboutin are asking the courtroom to completely block Alejo from persevering with his operation and order him to destroy all remaining stock. The 2 plaintiffs are additionally looking for restitution and damages.
In a joint weblog put up on Thursday, Jessica Romero, director and affiliate common counsel of litigation at Meta, and Mark Fiore, director and affiliate common counsel of IP at Meta, wrote that the corporate continues to make sure that its platforms stay secure for individuals and companies to attach, share and purchase and promote collectively.
“This lawsuit is a transparent sign to those that would search to interact in comparable abuses that this habits won’t be tolerated,” Romero and Fiore wrote. “Meta and Christian Louboutin plan to proceed their enforcement efforts in opposition to counterfeiting and maintain those that abuse our insurance policies accountable. We additionally stay dedicated to providing companies product options and sources to guard their manufacturers, and we additionally know that cross-industry collaboration is a essential a part of tackling counterfeits on our platforms.”
This case is the most recent instance of Meta taking motion and litigation in opposition to counterfeiters. Meta first collaborated on an identical kind of mental property infringement case with Gucci in 2021 and continues to associate with stakeholders on model safety measures.
Within the second half of 2022, Meta stated it has eliminated greater than 1.7 million items of content material on Fb and Instagram in response to greater than 180,000 counterfeit reviews, and greater than 115 million items of content material earlier than it was reported to the corporate by a rights holder.
As for Louboutin, the corporate stated within the lawsuit that it continues to work with U.S. Customs and Border Safety and different legislation enforcement businesses to coordinate seizures of counterfeit Louboutin-branded merchandise. Latest busts embody the seizure of 185 Louboutin-branded objects coming from China on Dec. 9, 2022; 65 objects coming from Bulgaria on Oct. 19, 2022; 960 objects coming from China on Sept. 9, 2022; and a raid, with the assistance of native authorities, resulting in the restoration of 83,800 packed objects from China on June 16, 2022.
In Might, Louboutin filed a lawsuit in opposition to Vinci Leather-based for allegedly infringing upon the French luxurious label’s well-known shoe designs.