PayPal Accounts Seized in Victories Against Counterfeiters

In a critical development in anti-counterfeiting, two apparel brands recently won millions of dollars against websites selling counterfeit products and were awarded the money from the defendants’ PayPal accounts, a practice previously not possible.

The action gives a boost to all anti-counterfeiting campaigns, including those by the Tennis Industry Association (visit www.tennisindustry.org/alert) and the SGMA. Previously, it was nearly impossible to recover money from defendants.

UGG's parent company, Deckers Outdoor Corp., won $686 million in lawsuits against more than 3,000 China-based websites selling counterfeit UGGs. Hermes won $100 million and permanent injunctions against websites selling counterfeit bags online.

The seizure of funds from PayPal accounts was done in accordance with Operation In Our Sites, an initiative by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. The initiative allows the Department of Justice to recover funds collected via PayPal from defendants as well as money transferred from PayPal accounts to bank accounts in China.