Louis Vuitton and Burberry sue Canadian counterfeiters for fakes
Take a stroll down Spadina Avenue, peeking into Chinatown’s many nondescript knock-off handbag emporiums. But don’t look too closely, because luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Burberry are starting to fight back, and they’ve targeted Vancouver-based producers and distributors Singga Enterprises, Carnation Fashion Company and Toronto-based Altec Productions (likely names that no one has heard of until today).
In what sounds like a sting operation, private investigations took place over two years in order to gain insight on the inner workings of these three knock-off kings. Each company will stand in court facing off against lawyer Michael Manson, who will be serving the interests of Louis Vuitton and Burberry.
Unlike Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones, consequences are expected to be more severe than getting kicked out of the Playboy Mansion for mistaking a real high-end bag for a fake. In fact, Manson is seeking up to $3 million in damages for trademark and copyright infringement—potentially the largest anti-counterfeiting judgment in Canadian history.
The decision to target Canada’s ring of knock-off dealers comes after Louis Vuitton’s crackdown on counterfeits that brought the number of fake Louis bags seized by U.S. customs officials down from 2 million in 2004 to 200,000 in 2010. Although Carnation Fashion Company’s owner, Jessie Guo, claims to have had no prior knowledge of “Canadian trademark law,” we wonder why these bags are rarely sold in plain sight.