Top Writers Den

Make Money and Become Successful

Is it Illegal to Sell Fake Designer Bags?

Is it illegal to sell fake designer bags? Well, it appears you’re considering buying some replica handbags to resell them. Even if you make it clear that they are replicas (not authentic, original, or real), it is illegal.

In the US and all over the world, selling branded replica products is unlawful. When you inform your buyer that it is a replica or counterfeit, this won’t protect you from infringement liability. In fact, you’re merely admitting that you sell replicas.

What some sellers do is give the item a slightly different name. For example, if the fake designer bag is Gucci, they rename it to something like “Guucci”. And as long as the original Gucci design is replicated, it is still intent to sell fakes and it’s illegal.

Is it Illegal to Sell Fake Designer Bags
Fake LV bag

Is it illegal to sell fake designer bags?

When you sell fake designer bags with a design or brand/logo that causes confusion among potential buyers, you can be guilty of trademark counterfeiting and trade dress infringement. That can even be a crime in your jurisdiction, depending on the fake designer bag you’re selling.

Read also: Some pickpocket tricks you need to know

Even if tell a buyer that the designer bag is fake, the underlying legal theory is that there’s no prevention of confusion after the sale of the counterfeit bag.

Here’s the case: when another person carries the knockoff designer bag or purse to a cocktail party knowing it is fake, other people looking at it will think it is real and may be less likely to spend money on the real bag. This is because they think that the quality of the replica designer bag is shoddy or that the brand recently diluted/reduced the quality and value.

Think about it: if someone knowingly uses a fake Louis Vuitton bag for a business meeting, another person won’t want to spend $5,000 to buy the same bag due to the poor quality and finish.

Perhaps, it’d be better for you to consider selling the original products of an upcoming bag designer trying to make a name for themselves.

Trade dress

You will commit a trade dress infringement when you sell a designer bag bearing confusing similarities to another name brand.

Lots of name-brand vendors are coming after replica merchants since they’re essentially cutting into their business. For instance, Detroit police seize nearly 700 fake designer bags after a suspect tries to sell one to an undercover officer.

What exactly is counterfeiting?

Counterfeiting is a form of trademark infringement or imitating fraudulently. When you make or sell a replica product with fake trademarks, it is counterfeiting.

So, let’s say you deliberately duplicate Nike or Adidas trademark on bags, you’re guilty of counterfeiting. Trademark infringement is evident in counterfeiting. The purpose is usually to confuse potential buyers, which in itself is illegal.

Read also: Faking PayPal account creation

It is also counterfeiting when the buyer of the fake bag is aware that it isn’t from the source. For instance, knowing for sure that a particular bag is not made by Gucci, but you still go ahead to buy it. The reason is that since you know it is fake and still use it, the fake designer bag deceives other potential buyers.

Proving counterfeits: are all fake designer bags counterfeits?

Fakes also refer to knockoffs or counterfeits. However, they are not exactly synonymous. Some fakes imitate an established product brand without infringing. This is the case if the underlying work such as a designer bag cannot be protected under the law. Thus, the fake bag does not violate any legal rules.

It’s easier to prove trademark infringement when dealing with counterfeits since there’s no need to conduct a factor-by-factor analysis of confusion likelihood. Even courts agree that fakes cause confusion by their very nature.

Getting caught

Selling fake designer bags is generally a bad idea for a business. Some of the major problems include:

a. Money loss

If the designer bag brand suddenly comes after you, you lose all your business investments and assets and so much more. They can even pursue you for your personal property and home.

b. You can’t predict your business

Selling fake designer bags takes away business predictability since your success depends on not being caught by the owner of the trademark.

c. Illegal connection

You can only import or export the product through an illegal connection, which will cost more money.

Consequences of selling fake designer bags

Under Lanham Act, trademark counterfeiting remedies are harsher than traditional trademark infringement. The Lanham Act, also known as the Trademark Act of 1946, is the federal statute governing trademarks, service marks, and unfair competition.

Meanwhile, if the court does not see any mitigating circumstances, selling a fake designer bag may attract an award of 3x the profits or damages, or whichever is greater, plus attorney’s fees.

To be liable, the company whose brand you duplicate must have federally registered the designer bag.  This means that you won’t be charged for counterfeiting if you put “Microsoft” on a designer bag because they are not goods for which Microsoft has a registered trademark.

Offering to sell a fake designer bag can as well lead to counterfeiting liability. For instance, you offered to sell Louis Vuitton bags and provided a sample to an undercover cop. Proof of actual production/sale of the fake bag is not mandatory to prove counterfeit.

In the same manner, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that hosts the website you use to sell the fake designer bag could be liable for contributory infringement. They act like the proprietor of a flea market found liable for contributory infringement.

Read also: Watch a cellphone used to hack a soda machine

Receiving a cease and desist letter

In some cases, you may be sent a cease-and-desist letter.

If you keep selling a fake designer bag after you receive a cease and desist, the lawyer can file a lawsuit, obtains a default judgment, and enforce against your business or personally (if you aren’t an LLC or incorporated).

If you stop selling the fakes, the lawyer will drop the lawsuit.

Also, you could stop selling, and then the lawyer sends a second letter. If they receive no response from you, they file a lawsuit for default judgment.

If you don’t stop selling and fight the letter or respond, you’ll be pursued by the lawyer.

Exclusive: got refurbished furniture for sale? where to

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

18 + five =

This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar
Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views : Ad Clicks : Ad Views :