In a lawsuit settled yesterday, three Canadian companies (Vancouver-based companies Singga Enterprises Inc. and Carnation Fashion Company, and Altec Productions of Toronto) were ordered to pay damages for trademark infringement of Louis Vuitton and Burberry. Canadian Federal Court Judge, James Russell, concluded that Defendants knowingly sold the brands' trademarks (including the LV monogram and Burberry's plaid prints), importing mass quantities of the accessories from China and selling them over a span of several years. Singga has been ordered to pay $480,000 to the two luxury companies, Altec must pay $1.2 million, and Carnation must pay $390,000 in damages.
The case spans back to 2008, when Louis Vuitton hired private investigators to find out who was distributing fake products bearing its trademarks. Investigators visited the Singga warehouse in Vancouver, where owner Kenny Ko said he could provide bulk purchases and discounts for orders of 200 or more items. Further, Singga provided the investigators with samples of the counterfeit bags, and even admitted that the designer handbags in their catalogues "were not real."
A crackdown against stores in Vancouver-area shopping malls led to a successful 2008 lawsuit in which Louis Vuitton claimed $980,000 in damages and about $50,000 for court costs.