Was It Only 30,000 Chanel Authenticity Cards Stolen?


If you’re new here or haven’t heard, Chanel is currently in court battling it out with What Goes Around Comes Around (WGACA) which I am not going to drill down on, you can read all the details from The Fashion Law, Vogue Business and the case text here. I am just going to give you the juicy highlights and the truth which everyone seems to be omitting.

First off, the reason why Chanel is suing WGACA in the first place is because they are claiming that WGACA infringed on the Chanel trademark, created unfair competition, false association and false advertising as this is listed in their initial filing from 2018.  Again, you can read everything through the link above but, here’s what’s interesting.

Yesterday, Joseph Bravo, Chanel’s Executive Operations Director testified at length how 30,000 Chanel authenticity cards were stolen from a Milan, Italian factory in 2012. Now, here’s what you may or may not know. These were from the 176 and 177 series and the below image is a counterfeit 177 series for your reference.

Here's the authenticity card numbers that were stolen from the Italian Chanel factory.

What’s interesting is the definition that was presented in court in 2022 as to what a “counterfeit” is.

“It is important to observe that there is a special definition of “counterfeit” which applies to trademark and copyright law. A counterfeit is a copy which is so close that it is difficult to tell from an original. Thus, a shoe which is made in the manufacturer’s factory, and meets it specifications, but is unauthorized for sale, is an infringement, but not a counterfeit. The distinction is important because the penalties for counterfeiting are far more severe than those for infringement.”
This is quite interesting as, this is part of the same ongoing case. The stolen authenticity cards were placed in bags that were not authorized for sale, hence the counterfeit moniker, but are they, or is it an infringement?
What Series Authenticity Cards Were Stolen From The Chanel Factory?
On to the part that no one is really reporting. All the authentication companies will not touch those two series.
It wasn’t just cards stolen, it was the stickers and the barcode that is placed on the box like the example above.  Remember, the stolen ones were only from the 176 and 177 series, the one above is authentic.
Again from the original filing from 2018:

“Since 1993, Chanel’s internal inventory system (the “ORLI System”) has been used to track the allotment of the Chanel Serial Numbers to Chanel factories and the assignment of Chanel Serial Numbers to specific CHANEL-branded products after the product has passed the factory’s quality control process.“

1993 would be a 2 series so is there no record of 0 and 1 series?

The trial is still going on but everyone in this industry is keeping a very close eye on the outcome but I’m venturing a guess that WGACA is going to be a-ok and here’s something that’s funny. If it wasn’t;t for WGACA bringing up the stolen authenticity cards in court, Chanel probably would have never given this information up.

One more thing, there are authentic bags from the 176 and 177 series but only Chanel knows which ones are actually authentic so I would be very careful if you’re a seller and pass on those two series.