Michael Kors takes on the flea markets

Brand goes after flea market which has become a “safe haven” for counterfeit sales according to lawsuit, while luxury lawyers prepare to focus on counterfeiting at NY summit.


Michael Kors is taking its battle against counterfeits to the flea markets. Three defendants are being taken to task for the operation of a flea market with a reputation for being a haven for illegal fashion knockoffs, including infringing and counterfeit Michael Kors products. The topic is one of the key areas of concerned featuring in the forthcoming Luxury Law Summit New York.


In a complaint filed in a federal court in Connecticut CGC Enterprises Inc, Charles Cheslock, Digsny, Taylor & Hobbes LLC, and Richard Lebov are in the fashion giant’s crosshairs. In Michael Kors, LLC v. Cheslock et al, 3:19-cv-01364 (D. Conn.), counsel for Michael Kors alleges that the defendants have run The Boulevard flea market has been selling counterfeit goods for “over 20 years,” and the defendants had knowledge of such sales. Counsel cites the 1996 arrest and conviction of Boulevard-occupant Abdallah Saad Ibrahim for selling counterfeit goods at the flea market as proof. Since then, the complaint states, the defendants have failed to take action to prevent widespread sales of MK-branded fakes. The defendants are not offering fake products for sale themselves, but it is claimed they fall foul of contributory trademark counterfeiting, infringement, and dilution, and unfair competition, nonetheless. The claim states, “Despite their general and specific knowledge of the ongoing illegal counterfeiting activity at the flea market, the defendants have turned a blind eye to the activities of the [counterfeit sellers] and created a safe haven and marketplace for which counterfeit Michael Kors merchandize has been and continues to be sold,” and “the defendants have lined their pockets with the [counterfeit sellers’] rent money and continue to stick their heads in the sand when it comes to the source of said rent money, which are the proceeds of illegal activities.” 

Focus on counterfeiting

Following the phenomenal success of the first Luxury Law Summit in the USA, the Summit returns to New York on 13 November 2019. At a time when geopolitics is creating unprecedented instability, when consumers’ understanding and definition of “luxury” is forcing luxury businesses to innovate, and when technology continues to drive change, the 2019 New York Summit agenda provides essential insights into the developing opportunities and challenges for luxury brands. One chief focus is counterfeiting. In ‘Counterfeiting Matters: How to protect your business in Canada and the US,’ recent developments in US and Canadian law impacting the ability to limit the flow of counterfeit products and grey goods in the luxury goods space are discussed by Louis Ederer, partner at Arnold & Porter, and Michelle Nelles, Counsel at Torys. In ‘Counterfeiting Matters: How to protect your business in China,’ discussion turns to the latest requirements for brands when doing business in China including new China IP laws and processes, with contributions from Jason Drangel, partner and Ashly Sands, both partners at Epstein Drangel. For further information on the event, please email jasmindersoor@globalcitymedia.com or go to www.luxurylawsummit.com

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