Follow the money – chasing international counterfeiters through the US legal system

By Anne Coyle, Howard S Hogan and Robert Weigel

US trademark law contains robust remedies for brand owners looking to bring offshore infringers to justice. Although the process requires diligence, it is possible to use it to identify counterfeiters and even freeze and ultimately recover funds held in foreign accounts

Most brand owners are all too familiar with the elusive, yet pervasive nature of international counterfeiters, who take advantage of the Internet to violate IP rights with apparent impunity. These highly sophisticated traffickers in infringing goods register hundreds or even thousands of domain names, which they use for websites that sell counterfeit goods to consumers throughout the United States and Europe. These websites can operate only to the extent that they accept payment. Without some form of payment processing mechanism, they would simply cease to exist.

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