Estée Lauder awarded $1.8 million in counterfeit MAC suit

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Estée Lauder awarded $1.8 million in counterfeit MAC suit

Related tags Estée lauder Authentication Counterfeit

The trademark infringement case is finally over, with 'Get Your MAC On LLC' being ordered by an Arizona federal judge to pay Estée Lauder over $1.8 million for the distribution of counterfeit products.

The decision comes after Estée Lauder filed the suit in March 2013, following litigation in Australia where the beauty player had taken retail giant, Target to court for stocking MAC knockoffs.

That case revealed that a Target supplier had received counterfeit goods from the 'Get Your MAC On' company, which began selling fake MAC products on its website in 2009.

While Target maintained its' innocence, the retailer made an offer to the international cosmetics giant after chemical testing revealed that the products it was stocking were counterfeit.

Following this suit, Estée Lauder then took action against 'Get Your MAC On' for allegedly ignoring evidence of the fake products.

Trademark counterfeiting and infringement

The complaint featured trademark counterfeiting and infringement, unfair competition, a federal false designation claim and use of counterfeit marks.

According to court documents, U.S. District Judge H. Russel Holland declared that 'Get Your MAC On's' director Yvonne Vitale had ignored evidence that the products it was selling were knockoffs that caused $620,868 in damages to Estee Lauder.

"Because this case involves counterfeiting and because plaintiffs have shown that defendants turned a blind eye to the counterfeit nature of the products that defendants were offering for sale, plaintiffs are entitled to treble damages in the amount of $1,862,604.24,"​ the judge wrote.

Estee Lauder moved for summary judgment in September, arguing the undisputed facts showed that Vitale violated federal and state laws. Vitale's initial two-sentence response to the motion was deemed insufficient by the court, and she didn't file a second.

And the rest is history...

Back in 2012, it was alleged that MAC products stocked in the Australian Target branch were fake as they featured a different formula to Estee Lauder’s genuine range.

The manufacturer viewed this as damaging to the brand at the time and needed to send a message to other retailers regarding the sale of counterfeit products.

A statement from Estée Lauder when the case first came to the fore said: "Target Australia is not an authorised retailer of MAC Cosmetics and we did not supply any MAC products to Target Australia.”

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