The North Face wins piracy case in Beijing

BEIJING, Oct 29, 2007 (AFP) - US outdoor apparel maker The North Face has won a lawsuit against a Beijing market that failed to stop the sale of fake versions of its products, state media reported Monday, October 29th.


Simone Moro for The North Face (Courmayeur, Italy) -Photo : Scott Markewitz

The Beijing Xiushui Clothing Company, which operates the famous Silk Alley market, was ordered by a local court to pay 40,000 yuan (5,300 dollars) in damages and legal fees to the North Face, Xinhua news agency reported.

Silk Alley -- a tourist magnet that trades in jeans, bags and belts, many of them seemingly counterfeit -- was taken to court after North Face last year found large quantities of counterfeits of its brand sold by vendors there.

The US company demanded 500,000 yuan in compensation, according to Xinhua.

Beijing Xiushui argued that most of the fake brand clothing was ordered by customers and was not for public sale.

But the court found some of the counterfeits were sold publicly and ruled that the firm had failed to fulfill its management duties.

The North Face did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last year, five luxury brands -- Burberry, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada -- won 20,000 yuan each in compensation from a joint lawsuit against Beijing Xiushui for violating their intellectual property rights.

According to experts, China produces some 70 percent of the world's counterfeit goods -- with pirated music, video discs and all manner of fake brand-name products widely available.

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