Amiri is back in court.
Seven months after settling a suit against fast-fashion retailer Zara, the luxury denim brand is once again alleging infringement. This time, however, it is not suing the business it has accused of counterfeiting its high-end goods, but the internet service provider hosting the offending website.
Atelier Luxury Group, LLC, the company that owns Amiri, filed a lawsuit against PEG Tech Inc.—a California-based corporation doing business as RAKSmart—late last week, accusing it of contributory trademark counterfeiting, contributory trademark infringement, contributory trademark dilution, contributory false designation of origin and false description, and contributory unfair competition.
According to Amiri, PEG Tech hosts AmiriOutlet.online, “a blatant criminal enterprise” based in China that claims to sell more than 100 authentic Amiri pieces—including the biker jeans at the center of its Zara lawsuit—at steep discounts. The site’s selection includes pieces prominently featuring the brand’s “AMIRI” mark, as well as listings that have clearly lifted the imagery used on Amiri’s site.
Amiri said it discovered AmiriOutlet in May. Before long, it had learned PEG Tech was providing hosting services for the site. In late May, it sent a written letter via FedEx overnight delivery to Wei Zhang, PEG Tech’s CEO, and Steven Pickett, its registered agent for service of process. Amiri said the correspondence explained how the internet provider was hosting services that assisted in the sale of counterfeit clothing and requested AmiriOutlet be taken offline immediately.
In the six weeks between reaching out and filing its suit, Amiri said it did not once receive any response from PEG Tech. The AmiriOutlet site was still accessible as of Friday.
Amiri further listed two other sites it believes have been set up by whoever is behind AmiriOutlet: one selling “knockoffs” of luxury retailer Maison Goyard and another presenting itself as the “Christian Louboutin Official Discount Store.” The link Amiri provides for the Maison Goyard site no longer works, but the Louboutin-infringing site at louboutinoutlet.online is still active.
Though PEG Tech is not the business directly infringing on its trademarks and counterfeiting its products, Amiri’s suit asserts it “is knowingly contributing to and supporting AmiriOutlet’s unlawful conduct,” as well as “communicating regularly with the owner(s) of the site, facilitating communication between AmiriOutlet and members of the public and continuing to collect fees from AmiriOutlet for its hosting services.”
Amiri’s suit requests AmiriOutlet either provide it with three times the profits it earned hosting the AmiriOutlet site and any other sites selling counterfeit Amiri goods, or up to $1 million for each mark PEG Tech caused or allowed to be counterfeited.