Louis Vuitton action against alleged counterfeiters16 December 2010
Louis Vuitton Malletier SA is asking the US International Trade Commission to open a Section 337 investigation against companies spread across China, and the US states of Texas and California for allegedly making, distributing or selling knock-off handbags, luggage, accessories and packaging.
The Paris-based luxury goods maker submitted its complaint with the ITC on December 6, claiming the infringement of several of its famous Toile Monogram trademarks.
The proposed respondents in Louis Vuitton's complaint are T&T Handbag Industrial and Sanjiu Leather Co, both of China. Two people, Jianyong Zheng and Alice Bei Wang of Meada Corp, Pacpro Inc., Trendy Creations Inc. and House of Bags, all based in California were named. As was, The Inspired Bagger in Dallas, Texas according to the complaint.
‘Certain of the proposed respondents are engaged in a scheme to infringe, at a minimum, the Toile Monogram Marks but also other intellectual property rights of Louis Vuitton through a systematic copying of Louis Vuitton product lines, bag styles and overall identity’, the company alleges in the complaint.
Using an ‘elaborate corporate shell operation’, Zheng and Wang allegedly own and control a large scale international counterfeiting enterprise targeting Louis Vuitton among other luxury brands, according to the complaint.
Zheng and Wang, who are husband and wife, have ownership or a managerial interest in T&T, Sanjiu, Meada, Pacpro and Trendy Creations, the complaint claims.
Louis Vuitton have actively sought to protect its trademarks from counterfeit goods in other states.
The company in November won a default judgment in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, which transferred to Louis Vuitton more than 300 Internet domain names allegedly used to sell counterfeit handbags and wallets.
Earlier that month, the company filed a separate complaint in the same court against unknown businesses and individuals likely located in China that allegedly operate websites peddling items that infringe on the company's trademarks.
Louis Vuitton asked the court for an injunction barring further infringement and an order disabling the Internet domain names used to sell the allegedly counterfeit goods.
Zheng and Wang could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday.
Mark Ramsey, owner of The Inspired Bagger, said that his company wasn't engaged in any activities that would constitute a trademark-related Section 337 violation.
Steptoe & Johnson LLP represents Louis Vuitton.