Southern California designer jeans maker True Religion Apparel Inc. has won a $864-million court judgment against online Chinese counterfeiters, but actually getting that money will be a battle.
The Vernon company, whose jeans can go for nearly $500, sued 282 websites originating from China and accused them of lifting company trademarks and peddling fake goods. The websites had names such as TrueReligion4Cheap.com and ForTrueReligionJeans.com.
The defendants were a no-show in court, so the New York federal judge handed down a default judgment this month. The websites were shut down. Each defendant was also ordered to pay $8.15 million and any similar websites they created in the future will also be closed.
Deborah Greaves, general counsel for True Religion, said the websites were probably part of large counterfeiting networks run by "organized crime factors" in China. In such cases, it's not uncommon for defendants to never make an appearance, she said.