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NFL given OK to shut counterfeit sales websites

NEW YORK — The NFL won a federal court order Wednesday to shut down the operators of nearly 1,500 China-based websites accused of selling fake NFL merchandise.

In a lawsuit, the NFL accused the website operators of being part of a network of counterfeiters who sell jerseys, headwear, and other merchandise illegally bearing league and team trademarks.

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The league said the websites are designed to appear to be authorized NFL Web stores. They are in English, accept US dollars, and claim to provide superior customer service but conceal the fact they are based overseas.

Wednesday’s ruling gives the league the ability to learn identities of those running the websites. The league has used similar lawsuits to disable more than 2,500 websites.

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