Louis Vuitton and Burberry have won record sums after successfully suing Canadian copycat labels. The luxury fashion houses finally took Singga Enterprises, Carnation Fashion Company, and Altec to task over the replica designer handbags they’ve imported from China for the past three years.
The Canadian court awarded Louis Vuitton the lion's share, at $1.4 million CAD, a sum that's equivalent to around $1.5 million US. Burberry's compensation was still nothing to sneeze at though. The British fashion house pocketed $1.1 million CAD, or approximately $1.14 million US. These sums are the biggest ever awarded in a Canadian court following a trademark counterfeiting and copyright case.
A statement of claim declared the offending firms were "involved in large-scale, sophisticated manufacturing operations in China and were importing vast amounts of counterfeit products into Canada with the intent of selling them nationwide in stores, at gift shows, and online." The court declared that these counterfeiting actions were "egregious."
Louis Vuitton's intellectual property director, Valerie Sonnier, said she hopes the ruling will send a strong message to counterfeiters around the world that Louis Vuitton has a "zero tolerance policy against counterfeiting."
I do wonder whether the counterfeiters will get the message though. While the payments have been getting bigger in these kinds of cases, Louis Vuitton has always been a litigious lot. If the threat of action hasn't deterred them before, will the bigger penalties do it?
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