China starting to take brand protection seriously

The victory by luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton in a case against a Chinese hotel which leased retail space to a shop selling knockoffs of the French brand shows that there is at least one area where Chinese anti-counterfeiting law is stricter than Australia’s.
The Intermediate Peoples Court in the city of Dongguan in the southern Guangdong province held the hotel liable for its tenant’s activities, and ordered both parties to pay 100,000 yuan in compensation and to stop selling the items and destroy remaining stock.
Louis Vuitton would not have got such a favourable result in Australia or the United States. The Australian Federal Court ruled last year, in another counterfeit case involving the popular French brand, that a market operator is not liable for an infringement by a stallholder.
Under US law, meanwhile, it has been ruled in several cases that a landlord is not responsible for infringements by a tenant unless the landlord knew about them at the time the lease was signed.
In at least this respect, the Chinese are taking a much more aggressive approach to stopping counterfeiting than the Western countries.
Photo credit: AFP

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