WASHINGTON — Louis Vuitton Malletier SA and Louis Vuitton U.S. Manufacturing Inc. have filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission asking for an investigation of several companies for allegedly importing and selling counterfeit and knockoff handbags, luggage, accessories and packaging.

This story first appeared in the December 9, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Louis Vuitton alleged that five of the companies named were owned or managed by the same two individuals, Jianyong Zheng and Alice Bei Wang, both of Arcadia, Calif. Three of the companies named in the complaint were separate entities that purchased goods from the firms operated by Zheng and Wang, according to the complaint.

The list of eight firms named in the complaint included companies in Guangzhou, China; El Monte, Calif.; Los Angeles, and Dallas. The complaint alleged the counterfeits and knockoffs are manufactured abroad and imported into the U.S. for sale.

If an investigation finds the allegations of the complaint are accurate, the ITC could issue an exclusion order to prevent the goods from entering the U.S. or a cease and desist order against the companies named from importing into the U.S.

Following a public comment period, the ITC will vote whether or not to institute an investigation. If the vote is affirmative, the case would be assigned to an administrative law judge at the ITC who would conduct an investigation. Cases before the ITC are similar to civil court cases, but with the addition of a third party. In addition to representatives for the complainants and respondents, an ITC lawyer from the Office of Unfair Imports is a party to cases before the commission to represent the public interest.