Meta, Louboutin File Joint Lawsuit Against Counterfeit Seller

Those using Meta platforms to sell counterfeit products may be more susceptible to legal consequences due to a joint lawsuit the tech giant filed with luxury fashion brand Christian Louboutin last week against an individual using Instagram and Facebook to promote the sale of replica Louboutin products.

The suit, filed on November 16 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, accuses the defendant of violating Meta’s Terms of Service and Instagram’s Terms of Use while infringing Christian Louboutin’s intellectual property rights by using the social platforms to promote the sale of counterfeit goods.

Meta said in a statement that it has taken “multiple enforcement actions” against the defendant's Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp accounts.

The company went on to detail recent efforts it has taken to strengthen its IP enforcement measures, including “a global notice-and-takedown program and policies to suspend repeat infringers.”



Last year, Meta updated its Brand Rights Protection Manager tool, giving brands a quicker and more seamless way to take down content Meta's system had detected as potential replicas by comparing similar matches to brands' pre-uploaded images of their licensed products.

Using this new tool -- as well as a recently added Intellectual Property Reporting API that helps brands detect and report content -- the company said it removed over 1.7 million pieces of content across Facebook and Instagram in response to over 180,000 counterfeit reports in the second half of 2022, and over 115 million pieces of content before rights holders filed reports.

The lawsuit with Christian Louboutin will likely amplify Meta’s anti-counterfeit message by threatening future counterfeit sellers with account deletion as well as legitimate legal repercussions.

“This lawsuit is a clear signal to those who would seek to engage in similar abuses that this behavior will not be tolerated,” Meta wrote in a statement. “Meta and Christian Louboutin plan to continue their enforcement efforts against counterfeiting and hold those who abuse our policies accountable.”

A joint lawsuit between a luxury brand and a major tech platform may also promote a new precedent across industries when combatting product infringement.

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