Louis Vuitton Malletier, SA part of LVMH, the world's leading luxury group, announced that the Supreme Court of British Columbia has awarded it the largest ever judgment in a trademark and counterfeiting case in Canada.
The lawsuit was filed against 46353 B.C. Ltd, doing business as Wynnie Lee Fashion, Wynnie Lee, Francisca Hung-Yee Ngan, Lisa Le Dung Tran, 560148 B.C. Ltd, and Jacqueline Lee located in Richmond, British Columbia.
"In my view, the evidence is clear that both before and following the commencement of this action the defendants W. Lee, W. Lee Corp., Ngan and Tran, have acted willfully and knowingly in violation of the plaintiffs' rights in the trademarks and copyrights... I agree with plaintiffs' counsel's submission that an award of statutory damages at the highest end of the scale -- that in the amount of $20,000 per each of the Copyrighted Works infringements, is appropriate," the judge said.
The judge noted the defendants' persistence in selling infringing products over the past six years. She found that the defendants had knowingly committed deliberate and inexcusable repeat infringement of the plaintiffs' trademarks and copyrights, failed to cooperate with the litigation, and therefore awarded special costs against them.
"We are extremely pleased by this precedent-setting victory in our global fight against counterfeiting, particularly in Canada where the legal framework for the enforcement of Intellectual Property rights is not as strong as in other countries.
Today's ruling by the Supreme Court follows the precedent set in our victory against Lin Pi-Chu Yang, which represented the largest ever default judgment in a Canadian counterfeiting case. In both cases, Louis Vuitton used an innovative approach to calculating profits and damages, to ensure the amounts awarded would be sufficient to serve as both punishment for violations in these cases and deterrence against future counterfeiting activities... Through these decisions, the judges have sent a strong message to counterfeiters that their illegal activities will not be tolerated by the Canadian courts," said Nathalie Moulle-Berteaux, Intellectual Property Director of Louis Vuitton.