Fined millions for selling fake luxury goods from China 開店賣中國仿冒貨 判賠一千多萬

Sat, Oct 06, 2012 - Page 11

I t was discovered that a clothing outlet owner surnamed Lee was selling fake Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior clothes and bags. After the companies filed civil suits against Lee, the Taipei District Court ordered her to pay the companies NT$13.4 million and place half-page ads of the entire court verdict on the front page of four newspapers in Taiwan to allow the brands to recover their reputation.

According to legal analysts, the ruling in the Lee case was made according to the Trademark Act. She was sentenced to five months in prison or given the choice of paying NT$1,000 per day instead of serving jail time, which would have amounted to around NT$150,000. The actual ruling in the civil suits, which included compensation for losses and fees for placing ads in newspapers, ended up being more than NT$15 million.

The verdict says that the 33-year-old Lee had rented out a space in March last year on the basement floor of the Wellcome department store building located on Zhongxiao East Road in Taipei, where she sold fake famous brand-name clothes purchased on China’s online shopping and auction Web site Taobao. She sold the merchandise at her shop for eight months, until it was eventually discovered in November last year that she was selling fake goods.

The police found fake Louis Vuitton products, which included clothes, pants, high heels, suitcases, lighters, bags and accessories. Lee admitted that she paid between NT$500 and NT$2,000 for each item, and that she sold each piece of merchandise for between NT$1,000 and NT$7,000. She was sentenced to five months in prison in July.

Taiwan’s LV dealer calculated its losses according to the Trademark Act, so since Lee was selling each item at an average of NT$4,000 per item, that figure was supposed to be multiplied by 1,500 to get the final amount of NT$36 million, which was to be paid as compensation for the company’s losses. The judge, however, felt that was too much and decided to reduce it by two-thirds. In the end, Lee was asked to pay NT$12 million and another NT$500,000 for goodwill impairment, totaling NT$12.5 million.

At the scene, authorities also found 23 fake Christian Dior apparel items and 13 Hermes apparel items. The two companies asked for 600 and 300 times the worth of the goods to be paid as compensation for their losses. The judge ruled in the companies’ favor, meaning Lee must pay the companies NT$600,000 and NT$300,000 respectively, or serve time in jail. She must also pay to run ads of the entire court verdict in newspapers. The cases can be appealed.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

李姓服飾商在台北市東區販賣仿冒的LV、CD等名牌服飾和包包,業者提附帶民事求償,台北地院判李女要賠業者新台幣一千三百四十萬元,還要在四家報紙頭版,刊登半版的判決書全文,以回復正牌貨商譽。

法界人士分析,本案李女刑事部分,被依商標法判刑五月,如要易科罰金一天一千元計算,拿出十五萬元即可不用入監服刑;但民事求償的判賠金額及登報費用加起來,恐超過一千五百萬元。

判決指出,三十三歲姓李女子去年三月起,在北市忠孝東路頂好名店城地下一樓租店面,販賣從中國「淘寶網」買來的仿冒名牌服飾,賣了八個月,去年十一月被查獲是冒牌貨。

警方在現場起出一百一十件LV衣服、褲子、高跟鞋、行李箱、打火機、包包和配件,李女承認每件以五百至兩千元買進,賣出價一千元至七千元不等,今年七月被判刑五月。

其中,LV業者以李女平均售價四千元,依商標法加計一千五百倍來估計損失,求償三千六百萬元,法官認為太沉重,主動幫李女打了三三折,酌減判賠一千二百萬元;另須賠償五十萬元商譽損失,總共一千二百五十萬元。

現場也查獲二十三件CD服飾,十三件Hermes,兩家各求償六百倍、三百倍賠款,法官判准,李女各應賠六十萬元、三十萬元,並須將刑事、附帶民事賠償兩份判決書全文登報;本案可上訴。

(自由時報記者張文川、姚岳宏)