Chanel, Inc. v. chanel255.org et al
Plaintiff's MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order against Defendants ( Responses due by 6/4/2012), Plaintiff's MOTION for Preliminary Injunction against Defendants by Chanel, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Stephen M. Gaffigan in Support of Plaintiff's Ex Parte Application for Entry of Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction, # 2 Exhibit A to Declaration of Stephen M. Gaffigan, # 3 Exhibit B to Declaration of Stephen M. Gaffigan, # 4 Declaration of Adrienne Hahn Sisbarro in Support of Plaintiff's Ex Parte Application for Entry of Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction, # 5 Exhibit A to Declaration of Adrienne Hahn Sisbarro, # 6 Exhibit B to Declaration of Adrienne Hahn Sisbarro, # 7 Exhibit C to Declaration of Adrienne Hahn Sisbarro, # 8 Declaration of Eric Rosaler in Support of Plaintiff's Ex Parte Application for Entry of Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction, # 9 Exhibit A to Declaration of Eric Rosaler, # 10 Text of Proposed Order Granting Plaintiff's Ex Parte Application for Entry of Temporary Restraining Order)(Gaffigan, Stephen)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
CASE NO. 12-21762-CIV-ALTONAGA/SIMONTON
CHANEL255.ORG, et al,
DECLARATION OF STEPHEN M. GAFFIGAN IN SUPPORT OF
PLAINTIFF’S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR ENTRY OF
TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
I, Stephen M. Gaffigan, state and declare as follows:
I am intellectual property counsel for Plaintiff Chanel, Inc. (“Chanel”). I submit
this declaration in support of Plaintiff’s Ex Parte Application for Entry of Temporary
Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction (the “Application for TRO”). I am personally
knowledgeable of the matters set forth in this declaration and, if called upon to do so, I could and
would competently testify to the following facts set forth below.
Plaintiff is seeking ex parte relief because if it proceeds on normal advance notice
to Defendants, the Partnerships and Unincorporated Associations Identified On Schedule “A”
attached to Plaintiff’s Application for TRO (collectively “Defendants”) prior to seeking to
preclude modification of control of the Subject Domain Names by having the registrars lock the
same, as requested in its Ex Parte Application, the Defendants can easily and quickly transfer the
registrations for many of the Subject Domain Names, or modify registration data and content,
change hosts, and redirect traffic to other websites, thereby potentially thwarting Plaintiff’s
ability to obtain meaningful relief and continuing to cause irreparable injury to Chanel. However,
upon entry of a TRO in this matter, my firm will notify the Defendants, by sending copies of
Plaintiff’s Application for TRO and supporting papers via e-mail to the e-mail addresses
provided by the Defendants to the registrars responsible for their respective domain names or the
email addresses and/or online submission forms identified on the websites operating under the
Subject Domain Names. A true and correct chart summarizing the contact information provided
by the Defendants to their registrars is attached hereto as Exhibit A. My firm will also provide a
copy of the Order by email to the registrar of record for each of the Subject Domain Names, so
that the registrar of record for each of the Subject Domain Names may, in turn, notify each
registrant of terms of the Order and provide notice of the locking of the domain name to the
registrant of record.
I have personal knowledge that under the operating rules of most domain name
Registrars, Registrants can easily transfer ownership of domain names simply by submitting an
authorization letter and an application form. Defendants involved in domain name litigation
easily can, and often will, modify registration data and content, change hosts and redirect traffic
to other websites they control. All of these things can literally happen in a very short span of
time after Defendants are provided with notice of a lawsuit.
I have learned through multiple prior cases I have filed on behalf of Chanel and
other clients that, upon notice of a lawsuit, counterfeit website owners often immediately set up a
redirect for their website which essentially informs a search engine that the website being
crawled has permanently moved to another domain and instructs the search engine to divert
traffic to the other website. The result is to slingshot the new domains to the top of the search
engine results pages by leveraging the Internet traffic to the domains in suit which was built
through the illegal use of the plaintiff’s trademarks.
Attached hereto as Composite Exhibit B are four examples of post-suit redirects
captured by my Firm with respect to four domain names, chanelfans.com, yeschanelgifts.com,
tick2buy.com, and watches-collection.com, which previously were home to counterfeit websites.
As reflected in the Exhibit, after the domain name owners received notice of an action but before
the domain names were transferred to the plaintiff through litigation, the owners simply
redirected all traffic to new domain names, chanelfan.com, yeschanelgift.com, morncity.com,
and replicagood.com, respectively. Accordingly, by the time the plaintiff obtained control of the
domain names, all of the value to the counterfeiters had already been diverted to the new domain
names, and the plaintiff was left to start over. In short, injunctive relief was rendered almost
meaningless by advance notice to the domain name owners that the websites were the subject of
a legal action. This case is being filed on an ex parte basis to prevent such an injustice from
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the
foregoing is true and correct.
Executed this 16th day of May, 2012, at Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
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