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Hermès, Dior Notch Counterfeit Wins

Hermes International and Christian Dior prevailed in separate efforts to protect their intellectual property.

PARIS — Hermès International and Christian Dior prevailed in separate efforts to protect their intellectual property.

This story first appeared in the April 9, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Hermès said it is claiming 30,000 euros, or $46,900 at current exchange, from eBay in damages for the online auction house’s alleged sale of counterfeit Hermès products.

The French luxury firm made its claim at the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Troyes, France, last week.

An Hermès spokeswoman confirmed the luxury goods company accused eBay of providing a platform for the sale of counterfeit bags, as well as taking a commission. Hermès declined further comment pending the court’s verdict on June 4.

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Rolex France and Tiffany & Co. also have taken eBay to court in France over allegedly selling counterfeit products. An eBay France spokeswoman declined all comment.

Meanwhile, Christian Dior Couture won a court victory against the French budget jewelry chain Camille & Lucie for allegedly copying one of its fine jewelry designs.

A spokeswoman for Camille & Lucie confirmed Dior was awarded 150,000 euros, or around $230,000, in damages for peddling a style resembling Dior’s floral Diorette ring at 30 euros, or about $50. (Dior’s version retails for between 4,300 and 11,900 euros, or $6,700 and $18,600). Camille & Lucie was also ordered to destroy the goods in question.

Dior is not the only brand to have battled the jewelry chain, which was established in 2001 and owns around 120 stores in France and abroad.

In May, Chanel, Givenchy, Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron and Cartier were among those who joined forces, charging Camille & Lucie with a litany of copyright and counterfeit infringements, resulting in a fine of 700,000 euros, or around $1.1 million. Appeals for additional sanctions have followed, with the verdict to be announced May 19 by the appeals court in Pau, France.

“It’s quite exceptional to see so many jewelry brands involved in such a case,” said Vincent Fauchoux, the lawyer who defended Van Cleef & Arpels and Piaget in the trial.

Since the introduction of new laws in October, a legal framework exists in France against copyright and trademark infringements, he said. “Today plaintiffs are able to claim [greater compensation],” said Fauchoux.