Adidas and Reebok have, together, filed a claim against 52 e-commerce sellers for trademark infringement, counterfeiting, and unfair competition.
The sporting goods retail giants are seeking $2m per seller per infringement, in an ambitious claim lodged in Florida earlier this week.
The defendants to the claims are accused of dealing in imitations of the claimants' goods, for which each claimant owns multiple trade marks. The claimants have been using those marks for many years, with Adidas claiming to have been using one mark in the proceedings for over 55 years.
It is alleged that the defendants are trading via selling platforms (like eBay) and on social media sites (especially via Instagram). They are accused of operating in the US and targeting US customers, but being based in foreign jurisdictions, and that they engage in "fraudulent conduct" by misleading the public into buying their counterfeit goods.
The claimants claim to be suffering ongoing daily damage as a result of the defendants' actions, which are calculated to confuse the public and earn substantial profits illegally. To arrest this, the claimants are seeking an order that financial institutions (including PayPal) identify and restrain all funds associated with the seller IDs in the claim.
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