FASHION LAW: DANISH COURT CONFISCATES AMERICAN DOMAIN SELLING FAKE RAY-BANS
American eyewear brand Ray-Ban dates back to the 1930s as a global leader in its sector, and it has found the competition in fake replicas through the decades. Ray-Ban has been donned by A-listers including Douglas MacArthur, Audrey Hepburn, James Dean, Roy Orbison, John Lennon, and by plenty of musicians during the eighties. Translating the latest fashion trends in its ever-growing contemporary collections, the Bausch & Lomb brand is no stranger to infringement.
A Danish prosecutor has ordered the country’s domain name registry to forfeit over an address known to sell fake goods that infringe on Ray-Ban’s copyright. Although there are aggressive amounts of Ray-Ban counterfeit goods within the internet sphere, this particular investigation upon domain, raybansolbrillerudsalg.dk, is under heavy investigation by the Court of Glostrup. With abundant copyright and trademark protection on the brand, the alleged domain is being investigated by the Danish State Prosecutor for serious economic and international crime (SØIK) (there is a message on the site explaining the investigation and a link to its ruling).
This is just ONE of the 1,114 addresses named by the Danish e-commerce Foundation as suspected of infringing IP that has been seized by the authorities. Raybansolbrillerudsalg.dk is the first on the list that has been brought to court. The website has taken screenshots of original Ray-Ban’s homepage designs including the iconic Aviator and Wayfarer sunglasses. With little to no objection, the address has been forfeited over by its owners.
The European Digital Rights (EDRI) organization, an organization that consists of 34 privacy and civil rights group, has written this investigation as “inconsistent” and “unjust.” Since the domain name itself does not contain evidence of copyright infringement and with SØIK taking the address, the case would be spotty if or when it does move into trial. EDRI states that this action is clearly violating normal due process procedures.
The Danish domain registry based on section 804(1) of the Danish Administration of Justice Act of the Danish Ministerial Network against IPR Infringements are the ones who took the site. Whether Ray-Ban itself will be getting their hands dirty with the legal proceedings is still up in the air. Stay tuned for more!
Photo reference via Ray-Ban