Five international fashion brands, Gucci, Chanel, Burberry, Prada and Louis Vuitton, are jointly suing the company that runs the capital's Silk Market and five of its stalls for selling counterfeit products. The first hearing was held at Beijing No.2 Intermediate People's Court on Tuesday, with no judgment passed as yet
"Though the market operator had promised to weed out counterfeit goods in the market, it failed to keep these knock-offs out," said the plaintiff's lawyer Gao Hualin. "The company takes no measures to fight against counterfeiting, and facilitates stalls in selling fake brands."
They are claiming 2.5 million yuan (US$309,000) in compensation from Beijing Xiushui Haosen Clothing Market Company and the five stallholders.
Hundreds of items of bags and garments bearing well-known logos were produced as evidence to the court, and it had been notarized that these items were from stalls in the Silk Market.
The market operator pleaded not guilty, claiming it had tried its best to forbid the sale of fake products in the market, and they had terminated the contracts of the five stalls being sued.
The five stallholders questioned the validity of the notarial certificate, saying it did not prove the products shown in court were from their booths, and said the amount of compensation sought was beyond what they could afford.
(China Daily November 3, 2005)