Louis Vuitton has won the largest ever judgment in a trademark counterfeiting and copyright case in Canada, as a court punished firms importing designer fakes from China, the luxury bag maker said on July 6.
The federal court ordered Canadian companies Singga, Carnation Fashion and Altec to pay the iconic French firm CAN $1.4 million and its co-plaintiff Burberry CAN $1.1 million, for a total judgment of CAN $2.5 million (US$2.6 million.)
"Those companies had been selling, since as early as January 2008, counterfeit and infringing fashion accessories, specifically handbags, bearing Louis Vuitton trademarks and copyrights and Burberry trademarks," Louis Vuitton said.
A statement of claim said the three 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, in a June 27 ruling, granted the highest punitive damages award of its kind in a counterfeiting case in Canada, calling these activities "egregious."
"We hope this decision will send a message to counterfeiters the world over that Louis Vuitton will aggressively implement its zero tolerance policy against counterfeiting," said Valerie Sonnier, intellectual property director for Louis Vuitton.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011