Motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson has secured $19.2 million (about R 231 081 600) victory in statutory damages for trade mark infringement from t-shirt designer SunFrog. This will be Harley-Davidson’s largest-ever trademark infringement win.
Harley-Davidson accused SunFrog of selling counterfeit merchandise, including t-shirts, leggings and mugs, online. SunFrog operates a platform which designs and sells print-on-demand clothing products to consumers, who are invited to upload their own images onto the website.
SunFrog was also accused of facilitating the advertisement and promotion of the products on social media sites by providing its sellers with sales-tracking tools and offering tutorials for social media marketing.
The court noted that Facebook adverts that feature SunFrog products bearing Harley-Davidson’s marks attract wide exposure, combined total of more than 116,000 reactions, more than 3,300 comments, and more than 31,000 shares. SunFrog had taken at least two days and even as long as seven days to deactivate infringing product listings when Harley-Davidson had provided the online platform with a link to the product.