Louis Vuitton is taking legal action against Chinese shoe brand Belle International in Hong Kong for copying its sneakers design.
The French luxury giant decided to take action after sneakers produced by Belle went on sale for HK$8,950 ($1,140) in July 2018. Louis Vuitton alleged that the sneakers are an imitation of its LV Archlight trainers, which was released for its spring and summer 2018 season.
According to The South China Morning Post, court documents showed that Louis Vuitton asked them for a ban on further infringements and the products to be removed from shops and the companies’ platforms.
In addition, the French company also requested the court to order the products to be handed over or destroyed and to be compensated with an unspecified sum of damages.
Louis Vuitton is part of an industry initiative launched by Alibaba that aims to use big data to curb the level of counterfeit activity online, called the Big Data Anti-Counterfeit Alliance.
The initiative was formed after another luxury brand, Gucci, blamed the widespread counterfeiting on the Chinese e-commerce platforms as the reason the luxury brand continues to avoid working with the sites.
In recent years, the Chinese government has started paying more attention to intellectual property protection, as it feels it is key to the success of the country’s homegrown global brands.
Danish toymaker Lego succeeded in its first copyright competition case in China in 2017 when the Shantou Intermediate People’s Court ruled in its favor, after it found two Chinese companies copying the packaging and logos of Lego products. The next year, the brand won another case when a court ruled that four companies had “infringed multiple copyrights of the Lego Group and conducted acts of unfair competition by producing and distributing Lepin building sets”.
Recent cases include Chinese sportswear giant Anta Sports Products being sued for producing similar-looking schoolbags made by a Hong Kong-based company and Supreme New York taking legal action against Supreme Italia, a counterfeit business in China after the latter opened a physical store in Shanghai.