When WrestleMania came to New Orleans in early April of 2014, there was a great deal of counterfeit merchandise being sold in the area and its ever so famous Bourbon Street. This is to be expected for any big event, but WWE took action that month by filing a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in New Orleans. WWE was seeking an ex parte seizure and temporary restraining orders with regard to seizing counterfeit merchandise in accordance with the Trademark Counterfeiting Act. “Ex parte” refers to something done for or by one party.

According to a recent report by BusinessInsurance, WWE has won the suit, and now has the power to seize WWE counterfeit merchandise. An appellate court in New Orleans overturned a past ruling by a lower court, the U.S. District Court, to grant WWE power in handling counterfeit merchandise.

The 5th Circuit appeals panel explained why the district court likely denied WWE’s request:

“Without knowing the identities of persons against whom seizure would be ordered, the district court thought it was unable to evaluate WWE’s likelihood of success in showing such persons had used a counterfeit mark.”

The ruling by the appellate court identifies any non-WWE seller as a counterfeiter, as the ruling states:

“WWE cannot know in advance the specific identities of counterfeiters who will present themselves at any a given event, but it does know that any non-affiliated seller at or near an event is almost certainly a counterfeiter.”

Read the original report by BusinessInsurance, here.

Editor’s Note

 WWE will most definitely crack down on those who sell WWE counterfeit merchandise outside of its events, but I wonder if the company will now target those who sell WWE inspired merchandise online.



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