IRON MAIDEN Goes After Online Counterfeiters

January 30, 2018

According to Trademarks & Brands Online, IRON MAIDEN has filed a lawsuit against Internet counterfeiters, accusing them of infringing the band's trademarks.

The British heavy metal legends filed the complaint to combat online counterfeiters who trade upon the group's "reputation and goodwill by selling and/or offering for sale products in connection with [the] IRON MAIDEN trademarks."

According to the lawsuit, which was filed on January 23 at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, the defendants — described as "individuals and business entities who, upon information and belief, reside in the People's Republic of China or other foreign jurisdictions" — "often go to great lengths to conceal their identities by often using multiple fictitious names and addresses to register and operate their massive network of Defendant Internet Stores. Other Defendant Domain Names often use privacy services that conceal the owners' identity and contact information. Upon information and belief, Defendants regularly create new websites and online marketplace accounts on various platforms using the identities listed in Schedule A to the Complaint, as well as other unknown fictitious names and addresses. Such Defendant Internet Store registration patterns are one of many common tactics used by the Defendants to conceal their identities, the full scope and interworking of their massive counterfeiting operation, and to avoid being shut down."

MAIDEN's lawsuit adds: "There are similarities among the Defendant Internet Stores. For example, some of the Defendant websites have virtually identical layouts, even though different aliases were used to register the respective domain names. In addition, the counterfeit IRON MAIDEN products for sale in the Defendant Internet Stores bear similarities and indicia of being related to one another, suggesting that the counterfeit IRON MAIDEN products were manufactured by and come from a common source and that, upon information and belief, Defendants are interrelated. The Defendant Internet Stores also include other notable common features, including use of the same domain name registration patterns, unique shopping cart platforms, accepted payment methods, check-out methods, meta data, illegitimate SEO tactics, HTML user-defined variables, domain redirection, lack of contact information, identically or similarly priced items and volume sales discounts, similar hosting services, similar name servers, and the use of the same text and images."

IRON MAIDEN is accusing the defendants of "passing off their counterfeit IRON MAIDEN products as those of Plaintiff, causing a likelihood of confusion and/or misunderstanding as to the source of their goods, causing a likelihood of confusion and/or misunderstanding as to an affiliation, connection, or association with genuine IRON MAIDEN products, representing that their products have Plaintiff's approval when they do not, and engaging in other conduct which creates a likelihood of confusion or misunderstanding among the public."

IRON MAIDEN is seeking a permanent injunction against the online sellers, transfer of the domains, and either profits or $2 million for each infringing use. They have also asked the court to order online marketplaces to disable and cease providing services for the defendants selling the counterfeit goods.

Following the massively successful global tour of 2016-17 in support of its 16th studio album, "The Book Of Souls", IRON MAIDEN will take to the road again in 2018 with a series of arena and festival shows in Europe on the "Legacy Of The Beast" world tour, opening in Tallinn, Estonia on May 26 and finishing at the O2 Arena, London on August 10.

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