Amazon.com and Maison Valentino have filed a joint lawsuit against Buffalo, New York-based Kaitlyn Pan Group, LLC and New York resident Hao Pan for counterfeiting Valentino’s signature “Rockstud” shoes, and offering the infringing products for sale on kaitlynpanshoes.com and Amazon.com, in violation of Amazon’s policies and Valentino’s intellectual property rights.
Amazon shut down Pan’s seller account in September 2019. Despite multiple notices of infringement and a cease and desist order, Pan continues to import, distribute, sell, and offer infringing products on kaitlynpanshoes.com. Pan further attempted to apply for a U.S. trademark for its infringing Valentino Garavani Rockstud shoes, flagrantly and willfully disregarding Valentino’s intellectual property.
“The vast majority of sellers in our store are honest entrepreneurs but we do not hesitate to take aggressive action to protect customers, brands, and our store from counterfeiters,” said Dharmesh Mehta, vice president of customer trust and partner support at Amazon. “Amazon and Valentino are holding this company accountable in a court of law and we appreciate Valentino’s collaboration throughout this investigation.”
Valentino implemented a customs surveillance system and enforced its intellectual property rights specifically in the U.S. Thanks to the ongoing cooperation with U.S. custom authorities, Valentino – in the past 3 years – seized more than 2,000 counterfeit products. Alongside with customs enforcement, Valentino implemented a surveillance system aimed to detect counterfeit products on sale in the U.S. market.
“The Maison Valentino is one of the main protagonists of International fashion and plays a major role in the luxury division by sustaining Made in Italy,” said Valentino in a statement. “The brand represents in the global market, one of the Italian excellences in the execution of the industrial process in Italy and of the artisanal and handmade workmanship that are entirely produced in the historic Atelier of Piazza Mignanelli in Rome. We consider Made in Italy to be a fundamental value to be fully endorsed, respected, and at the forefront of our business and creations. Valentino is an Italian brand operating globally and is a mirror of society. One of our core missions is to safeguard our brand and protect the Valentino Community by celebrating inclusivity and with creativity at the heart of everything we do. We feel this connection with Amazon will highlight the importance also in fashion for greater awareness, knowledge, and understanding by shielding the brand online and its resources.”
With the help of U.S.-based local agents, Valentino has taken legal action against several companies selling both online and offline products bearing without authorization trademarks and industrial designs owned by the Italian luxury brand. Valentino also carried out online brand protection activity on online platforms, which led the company to remove more than 7,000 listings on several marketplaces, more than 360 websites, and over 1,000 social media accounts selling counterfeit products bearing without authorization trademarks and industrial designs owned by Valentino.
In line with Amazon’s past joint litigation, Valentino will receive any proceeds from this suit. Amazon strictly prohibits counterfeit products and, in 2019 alone, invested more than $500 million and had more than 8,000 employees protecting its store from fraud and abuse, including counterfeiting and IP infringing products.