long arm of the law
Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 7, 2010 12:40 PM
Luxury brands have been hit especially hard by counterfeiters, with the practice of selling fake brand merchandise only escalating in recent years. In April alone, fake goods valuing more than $240 million were confiscated in the US.
Brand knock-offs not only erode profits for luxury brands, they damage a brand's image. But now, at least one brand has been vindicated: Versace just won $20 million in damages as the result of a suit filed by the company in a Los Angeles court. The case began in 2003 when more than 100 people and 70 retail shops were charged with selling phony Versace goods.
Gian Giacomo Ferraris, CEO of Versace, told the BBC the ruling is an "historic judgment." As the biggest monetary award to an Italian company defending its brand ever, he added that the legal precedent would benefit all luxury Italian brands.
Clearly, authorities are cracking down on knock-off purveyors, as also shown in the recent seizure in New York of $10 million dollars worth of knock-off designer clothing. Now it would help if consumers stopped buying the fake stuff. Counterfeiters, be warned!