Can You Serve Court Papers by Email?

April 11, 2022 / in Blog / by Zafar Khan, RPost CEO

The $100 million “Hermès” Registered Email™ Message (& CLE Webinar That Tells More)

What a deal! My favorite functional yachting sportswear at 70% off! Or so I thought.

Nearly every successful product brand is facing a strange new competitor — their own “fake” self. Let me explain how this plays out.

(If you find this interesting, join the Florida Bar CLE Credit Webinar on April 12 reviewing what you need to know (legally) about proof of email delivery – Click here to re-live the webinar).

Folks generally outside of the U.S. find a popular sportswear or other fashion brand. They easily scrape from the brand’s website images of beautiful people wearing the products, along with the technical or emotion-filled product descriptions. With this content at hand, and a basic e-commerce site structure, the fakers then launch a website that looks like it is a factory outlet store offering the famous brand’s goods, selling online. On this website, the fakers post all of the product images and product descriptions, and tag key brand words so that if one is looking for the fashionable product by brand online, the “factory discount” site pops up in search.

Everything works perfectly on the fake site…the only real hint often is in the “terms” part of the site where there are return policies noted; and the policies inelegantly, and often grammatically incorrectly state that all sales are final, or returned product may be exchanged but not refunded, etc.

You know the story, you buy the beautiful branded sports jacket at a huge discount, and what shows up is a shoddily sewn jacket not worth the cost of the postage. A fake.

If you are one of the brand companies dealing with fake product websites, you know how difficult it is to stop these fake sales. Fashion House Hermès found a way worth sharing; a way enabled by use of Registered Email™ messages (real, patented, and the original) by RPost, for proof of email delivery.

As explained by Attorney Joseph C. Gioconda, with the fake sellers offshore and without any physical address to be found — only email addresses associated with the Internet domains with the domain registrar — there was no way to “serve” them notice, to formally initiate the trademark and brand infringement suit. Even after the lawyers for Hermès obtained permission from the New York Federal Judge, in this case, to serve the legal papers by electronic mail, they had no way to do so in a way that would prove that the emails sent were in fact successfully and legally delivered; proof needing to be submitted to the court to show successful process service by email.

  • Install RMail for Outlook or Gmail (2 minutes)
  • Copy and paste notice of the brand infringement lawsuit in the email body, attach the formal papers as a PDF.
  • Click the “Send Registered” button in the RMail for Outlook (or Gmail) button.

Voila — within minutes, a Registered Receipt™ email delivery proof was returned to serve as successful legal notice, even if the recipients never opened the email. And even better, this receipt is easily presented as a court admissible third-party authenticatable evidence of legal delivery.

Technically speaking, each Registered Email™ message returns a Registered Receipt™ email record; the global standard for court-accepted, timestamped proof of secure delivery of email message and attachment content. This record is durable (it may be forwarded, retaining its self-authenticating integrity), and is self-contained (it does not require any other record to be stored anywhere). (Watch video to see it in action).

In the end, Gioconda successfully served court papers entirely using the RMail service, by Registered Email™ message, and the Federal District Court awarded a $100 million judgement against operators of 34 websites selling counterfeit Hermès goods.

For irrefutable, court accepted, timestamped proof of email content delivered, Gioconda Law Group, a brand protection litigation, investigations and strategy law firm, set some very nice precedent for you. Now you know how to protect your or your clients’ gear, goods, intellectual property, and brands. (View court judgement here for interest).

(If you found this interesting, join the Florida Bar CLE Credit Webinar on April 12 reviewing what you need to know (legally) about proof of email delivery – Click here to re-live the webinar).