Fake goods come at high price

Fake goods come at high price


The owners of a Shanghai store, which last year captured publicity for reportedly selling counterfeit goods to Canadian singer Celine Dion, were yesterday ordered to pay 500,000 yuan (US$73,201) in compensation to luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton Malletier over trademark infringement.

A Taiwanese man, surnamed Lin, and his wife, Wu Beiwen, owners of Shanghai Zhongwen Trade Co Ltd, were also ordered to bear the cost of compensation with their own possessions if the store's property was not enough to cover the amount in the judgment.

Judges of the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court said it decided the maximum compensation under Chinese law should be awarded to Louis Vuitton.

However, the judges said it was difficult for LV as it was impossible to determine its real loss or how much in illegal profits the defendants made.

LV was seeking 1 million yuan in compensation.

The company filed a lawsuit with the court in January, saying the couple began to sell fake LV leather goods, including bags and wallets, in 2000.

The lawsuit said investigations by both the police and the market watchdog backed up these claims.

On August 2, 2008, police officers seized a number of counterfeit goods from hidden cabinets in the store.

Records from the city market watchdog show the store was fined in December 2002 and June 2004 for selling bogus goods.

Fake LV products were included in those seized items.

Dion was photographed shopping in the store on Shaanxi Road S. on April 10 last year, allegedly picking up about 50 counterfeit products, including fake LV goods, before a concert engagement in the city.

LV told the court that the sale brought a great deal of profit to the defendants.

The couple had bought at least four properties in downtown Jing'an District, valued at more than 20 million yuan, the company claimed.

The court ruled the couple and the store had committed the crime of selling counterfeits and decided on the compensation amount after "considering the consequences and the time involved."

The couple were both sentenced to five months in prison for counterfeiting by Xuhui District People's Court last December.

They admitted selling counterfeits at that hearing, but denied Dion had bought any fakes from them.

The defendants said it was just an assumption about Dion's purchases.

They said Dion actually came to the store to have her fortune told by Lin.
                                                                                            Source:Shanghai Daily  

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