Louis Vuitton has filed a lawsuit at a district court in Beijing, claiming damages from three people convicted of selling counterfeit versions of the brand’s products.
The French luxury house, part of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is claiming 250,000 yuan, or $37,900 at current exchange, in economic damages, the court confirmed.
The three individuals were convicted of selling the counterfeit products on Taobao, China’s largest e-commerce marketplace, which is owned by Alibaba Group.
The counterfeit operation staged by the three defendants between 2011 and 2014, involved “a huge amount of money,” according to a statement on the court’s Web site. The statement described the trademark violations as “serious,” warranting the civil case on top of criminal convictions obtained in 2014.
The two companies have a history of working together to stamp out fakes in China’s online marketplace, inking a deal in 2013 in which Alibaba promised that Taobao would proactively take down product listings of suspected counterfeit goods and implement preventive measures to stop sellers from listing fake items. It’s unclear whether these legal proceedings stemmed from this kind of proactive enforcement on the part of Alibaba.
Louis Vuitton and Alibaba did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Just last month, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office declined to re-list Alibaba Group and its e-commerce platform Taobao on a key counterfeit watch list, despite protests from the American Apparel & Footwear Association.
Meanwhile, LVMH rival Kering is engaging in a legal battle with Alibaba over fakes. That lawsuit, filed in May, marked the second time in less than a year that Kering had sued Alibaba over the alleged sale of counterfeit products. An earlier lawsuit from 2014 was later withdrawn.