Friday, December 23, 2005

'Significant victory' of Burberry, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada against Beijing Silk Alley shopping mall

On December 20th, Beijing No. 2 Intermediate Court ruled that Silk Alley Haosen Co., the management firm of the (in)famous shopping mall of Beijing for knockoff products, had not acted in time to stop the sales of bogus merchandise by five vendors, said the plaintiffs' lawyer Wang Yadong of Lovells Beijing. The court ordered Haosen and five Silk Alley vendors to pay 200,000 yuan ($24,764) in damages

The Beijing News said the judge called his ruling China's first against the operator of a shopping center.

"This is a significant victory," said Douglas Clark, a Shanghai-based intellectual property rights attorney and partner in the Lovells business law firm. "Generally, landlords have been protected by doctrines of law that do not make them responsible for the acts of their tenants."

"The importance of this case is that a landlord in a notorious counterfeiting black spot has been found liable for the sale of counterfeits in a tenant's premises," Clark said. "This should send a message to all landlords in China that they cannot blindly lease their premises to tenants without taking responsibility for their actions."

The article ends ominously: "Fake goods are still being sold at Silk Alley under the plaintiffs' names, Wang said."

Read more here

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