April 6, 2018
Playboy and eOne have their legal teams hard at work fighting infringement.
The Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago increased the judgment in favor of Playboy Enterprises against Play Beverages and CirTran Beverage Corp. to nearly $19 million. Last October, a jury unanimously found that Play Beverages intentionally sold energy drinks under Playboy's trademarks. Following that verdict, the court issued a permanent injunction against Play Beverages ordering them to immediately stop manufacturing, selling, promoting and advertising all products and services in conjunction with the Playboy brand or any confusingly similar trademark. Then on June 23, the court denied the request of Play Beverages for a new trial, upheld the jury's findings and tripled the trademark infringement award in Playboy's favor from $5 million to $15 million. (The court also awarded Playboy attorneys' fees and costs of suit.)
Meanwhile,eOne is taking significant actions in countries around the world to protect its trademarks.
“Piracy is the single biggest issue facing brand owners in the licensing industry today,” says Andrew Carley, head of global licensing, eOne. “We are actively dealing with this situation to send a clear message that we will not tolerate the infringement of our IP, and that we will make every effort to safeguard our brands and protect children from these poor quality and potentially harmful, untested counterfeit products.”
In the first six months of 2017, eOne seized more than 250,000 counterfeit products globally via port seizures and market raids, and removed over 50,000 infringing listings on over 40 leading e-commerce platforms including Alibaba, Mercado Libre and Amazon. eOne also carried through enforcements on social media platforms, removing over 1,000 infringements across iTunes, GooglePlay and YouTube. Additionally, a number of infringing stage shows and unlicensed events have been cancelled via legal action across Latin America.
Significant actions have also taken place in Russia and China. In Russia, eOne removed more than 10,000 counterfeit listings across eight e-commence platforms including Avito and Aliexpress. Action has also been initiated against approximately 3,000 infringing URLs, 1,500 infringements on social media platforms, including Instagram and VK and over 100 civil lawsuits have been filed against sellers of counterfeit “Peppa Pig” products across Russia.
In China, following a successful raid of over 13,000 counterfeit “Peppa Pig” products in Shantou, Dongguan in January, eOne has initiated civil lawsuits against over a dozen major sellers of counterfeit “Peppa Pig” products on Alibaba. In addition, the licensor has undertaken multiple port seizures across China and has aggressively targeted any trademark infringement, with over 20 legal actions currently in progress.
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