Versace SpA on Wednesday won $20 million in damages in a seven-year-old counterfeiting lawsuit.
This story first appeared in the May 7, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The jury verdict stemmed from a wide-ranging trademark suit filed in 2003 that listed dozens of defendants and resulted in seizures at 72 stores in Southern California and Arizona, Versace said. The judgment this week came against defendant Tres Hermanos Inc. and its principal, Monir Awada.
The verdict followed a three-day trial in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles that saw testimony from Versace chairman Santo Versace. According to court records, jurors awarded the Italian fashion house $2 million for trademark violations related to T-shirts and $1 million each for 18 other infringements on garments that ranged from jeans to sweaters.
Awada’s attorneys did not immediately return calls for comment.
Versace said the verdict is the largest sum ever won by an Italian brand outside of Italy in a trademark protection case.
Versace chief executive officer Gian Giacomo Ferraris told WWD: “We are delighted with the outcome of this case. This is good for Versace, it’s good for the industry, and it’s good for the ‘Made in Italy’ [label]. We will continue to fight vigorously counterfeiters and make their lives difficult wherever they are.”