For a brand that has carefully crafted an aspirational brand identity for the last 160 years, it is to be expected that Louis Vuitton will not take kindly to the widespread sale of counterfeit goods, and three Alibaba sellers, two of them surnamed Liang and the other surnamed Han, are at the receiving end of a lawsuit, in connection with the sale of fakes.
The French fashion house has filed a legal suit at Beijing's Haidian District Court regarding the sale of counterfeit goods on TaoBao, Alibaba's (China's biggest online commerce company) e-commerce marketplace. Louis Vuitton claims that three of TaoBao's individual sellers "were formerly convicted of operating a 'serious' counterfeit involving the sale of Louis Vuitton goods between 2011 and 2014. As a result, Louis Vuitton is owed 250,000 yuan, or $37,900 at current exchange, in economic damages.
The luxury label is not the first to take Alibaba-connected entities to task. French fashion conglomerate Kering sued it for the second time in May 2015 for allegedly selling replica items from its stable of brands including Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Gucci.