Louis Vuitton and Burberry, the two well known luxury fashion brands, have been awarded a total of CAD $2.5m in the Federal Court of Canada following their successful action against three companies that had been manufacturing and selling counterfeit designer handbags in Canada.
Valerie Sonnier, Global Intellectual Property Director for Louis Vuitton said, “This is a landmark award and decisive victory for Louis Vuitton. We are pleased that the Federal Court in Canada recognizes the importance of protecting intellectual property, and awarding high compensatory damages as well as full punitive and exemplary damages as a strong punishment and an equally strong deterrent against counterfeiting and infringing activity. This decision also serves to highlight the need to make trade-mark counterfeiting a crime in Canada and grant Customs in Canada much needed ex officio authority to seize counterfeit goods at the border. 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.”
You can read the full press release at BusinessWire
Illustrating the scale of the counterfeiting problem in China, the country’s biggest online retailer, Taobao, has revealed that it removes around 20,000 suspected counterfeit product listings every day from its e-commerce website. As reported by Penn Olson, Taobao use various initiatives to identify counterfeit products on their website and have recently joined forces with 89 global brands to help reduce the instances of rogue products. Although 20,000 sounds like a lot of listings to remove, the website published over 10 million new product listings every day, making it extremely difficult to overcome the counterfeit goods problem. http://www.penn-olson.com/2011/03/21/taobao-counterfeit-products/
A new report for the British Journal of Criminology, co-written by a Home Office Advisor, claims not and that counterfeiting could actually be beneficial to top designer labels by promoting their brands. This view seems slightly irresponsible taking the consequences of counterfeiting (lost tax revenue, funding of organised crime etc) into consideration and is not supported by the leading designer brands; as reported on www.styleite.com, a spokesman for Louis Vuitton said: ‘The sale of counterfeit goods is a serious offence whose revenue funds criminal organisations at the expense of consumers, companies and governments.’
The report concludes that it should be the responsibility of industry rather than police to fight the counterfeiters and that resources should be concentrated on other more dangerous counterfeits such as medicines and aircraft parts.