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Luxottica USA LLC v. The Partnerships and Unincorporated Associations Identified On Schedule" A"

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

June 18, 2015

LUXOTTICA USA LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
THE PARTNERSHIPS AND UNINCORPORATED ASSOCIATIONS IDENTIFIED ON SCHEDULE

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

HARRY D. LEINENWEBER, District Judge.

This case arises from the unauthorized sale of counterfeit Ray-Ban eyewear through various online seller accounts. Default judgment has been entered against most Defendants, while others have been voluntarily dismissed. A single Defendant ("Defendant"), who has been identified by two eBay seller IDs, remains.

Before the Court is Plaintiff Luxottica USA LLC's ("Luxottica") Motion for Summary Judgment, Statutory Damages of $450, 000, Permanent Injunction, and Attorneys' Fees and Costs [ECF No. 77]. For the reasons stated herein, Luxottica's Motion is granted, except that the Court awards statutory damages in the amount of $150, 000.

I. BACKGROUND

Luxottica is the exclusive wholesale distributor of genuine Ray-Ban products in the United States and holds the exclusive right to enforce RAY-BAN trademarks within the United States. (Joint Stmt. of Stipulated Facts, ECF No. 75, ¶1.) RAY-BAN marks have been used continuously and exclusively by Luxottica and its predecessors since as early as 1937. (Id. ¶3.) Luxottica has protected the value of the Ray-Band brand by registering the following trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office: Reg. No. 1, 080, 886, Reg. No. 1, 320, 460, Reg. No. 3, 522, 603. (Id. ¶1.)

Defendant stipulates that up until November 2014, it sold and offered for sale knockoff products featuring counterfeit RAY-BAN trademarks via online marketplace accounts associated with the eBay seller IDs "g7178a" and "qhgypchyh2." (Id. ¶¶5-8.) (The introductory paragraph of the parties' joint statement of stipulated facts refers to the seller IDs as "g7178" and "qhgypchyh.") Defendant has stipulated to owning the online marketplace accounts associated with these seller IDs, as well as seven PayPal accounts associated with various email addresses. (Id. ¶4.) Defendant sold at least 106 counterfeit Ray-Ban products at prices ranging from $6.29 to $6.99 each. (Id. ¶5.)

II. ANALYSIS

Luxottica requests that this Court (1) enter summary judgment in its favor on the two claims asserted against Defendant, (2) award statutory damages of $450, 000 pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1117(c), (3) enter a permanent injunction against Defendant and transfer to Luxottica all assets currently restrained in PayPal accounts that are connected to Defendant, and (4) award attorneys' fees and costs pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a)-(b).

A. Summary Judgment

Luxottica argues that it is entitled to summary judgment on its claims for false designation of origin under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), and violation of the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, 815 ILCS § 510, et seq. Summary judgment is appropriate when "there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." FED. R. CIV. P. 56(a). Defendant has already admitted liability on the above-mentioned counts in a Joint Statement of Stipulated Facts filed with the Court on April 7, 2015. (ECF No. 75 ¶¶6-8 ("Defendant knowingly and willfully offered for sale and sold at least one hundred six (106) Counterfeit Ray-Ban Products.... Defendant admits liability for false designation of origin using counterfeit trademarks and violation of the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.").) Summary judgment is therefore entered in favor of Luxottica.

B. Statutory Damages

Luxottica seeks a total damages award of $450, 000 - $150, 000 for each of the three trademarks that Defendant used on the counterfeit products. Defendant argues that statutory damages of no more than $7, 440 are appropriate because it generated only $800 in total revenue from the sale of the counterfeit goods, and only a fraction of that amount within the United States.

Under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(c), a plaintiff in a case involving the use of a counterfeit mark may elect to recover an award of statutory damages of "not less than $1, 000 or more than $200, 000 per counterfeit mark per type of goods or services sold, offered for sale, or distributed" or, in the case of willful infringement, "not more than $2, 000, 000 per counterfeit mark per type of goods or services sold, offered for sale, or distributed." Although the Lanham Act permits a plaintiff to choose either actual or statutory damages, statutory damages are "most appropriate" when an infringer's nondisclosure makes actual damages uncertain. Sara Lee Corp. v. Bags of N.Y., Inc., 36 F.Supp.2d 161, 165 (S.D.N.Y. 1999).

Though § 1117(c) places a dollar range on possible statutory damages awards, the statute provides no guidance on how to select a figure within that range. Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. S & M Cent. Serv. Corp., No. 03 C 4986, 2004 WL 2534378, at *4 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 8, 2004). Accordingly, "[c]ourts interpreting section 1117(c) have looked by analogy to case law ...


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