Louis Vuitton wins lawsuit on counterfeit sales in US

Louis Vuitton has won a $23 million dollar judgment in a Florida court against 200 Chinese retailers who were selling knock off goods online in the US.

Photo: Louis Vuitton

This is the latest victory for the luxury retailer who actively defends its trademarks and intellectual property rights. Similar to other recent legal victories for the brand, this case marks a default judgment where the retailer, and copyright owner, emerges victorious, but may not be able to collect any of the monetary award from the defendants.

The case is typical of other trademark infringement cases where foreign entities use a brand's trademarks to sell counterfeit goods to undiscerning consumers shopping for deals online. The brands are left chasing down the owners and operators of the websites. When names are discovered, the chance that any appear in court is very low, and brands like Louis Vuitton are limited in their options. While the judgements against counterfeit sellers are official and legitimately enforceable, by the time the brands catch up with the sellers, they may have long since moved any money they earned from the counterfeit sales.

Trademark law puts the burden on the owner of the mark to enforce it which is why Louis Vuitton and other brands are so frequently in court. They have to protect their brands through all legal means possible. Making news and creating headlines about winning multi-million dollar judgments is often the best way a brand can protect itself.

The case, Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. v. 2015chinasale.com et al, was filed on April 17, 2017, and closed on July 10, presided over by Judge William P. Dimitrouleas in the Florida Southern District Court.


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