MONTREAL — Three Canadian companies have been ordered to pay about $2.5 million combined to Louis Vuitton and Burberry for selling knockoffs of their handbags in what was described as an “egregious” case of trademark infringement by a Federal Court judge.
This story first appeared in the July 1, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Singga Enterprises Inc. and Carnation Fashion Co. of Vancouver, and Altec Productions of Toronto were accused of importing, manufacturing and selling illegally handbags bearing Louis Vuitton and Burberry logos. Louis Vuitton and Burberry filed their lawsuit after using private investigators for two years to visit warehouses and purchase fake handbags in person and online.
Judge James Russell said all three companies were involved in large-scale importing, manufacturing and selling of fake handbags and took steps to cover up their actions. Singga was ordered to pay nearly $850,000 to Louis Vuitton and Burberry, including $200,000 in punitive damages. Altec was ordered to pay about $1.2 million to the two companies, including $250,000 in punitive damages.
Lawyers for the fashion houses said Carnation owner Jessie Guo had been cooperative during the legal process and described her operation as significantly smaller in scale than Singga’s and Altec’s. Her company was ordered to pay $390,000.