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Louis Takes on Sogo: The Case for Authenticity

By Amelia Wong

On October 7th, Louis Vuitton alleged trademark infringement against Sogo, a Japanese-style department store. Louis Vuitton's claim, filed to the High Court in Hong Kong, described the allegedly infringing objects (articles, advertisements, signs, letterheads, labels, packing materials) and called for their destruction, claiming that Louis Vuitton, as a famous mark, is protected under the Paris Convention.

The company took similar stands earlier this year against a Shau Kei Wan salon and Mong Kok boutique. This no-nonsense attitude towards infringement and counterfeits is firm, and significant. Giant fashion companies are finding new avenues to take a stand against the problem of counterfeiting.

Previously, large companies would struggle to enforce their rights in Hong Kong due to a different type of intellectual property system. Problems with enforcement involve kickbacks to government officials by corrupt corporations and institutional attempts to cover up these issues. The Hong Kong and Chinese governments claim to be dealing with these problems, and certainly have made moves to enforce intellectual property rights. However, problems remain.

Louis Vuitton is demonstrating this pro-active approach and addressing the problem directly. Yet the future of counterfeiting remains in China even while Chinese tourists line up outside of the Louis Vuitton store on Fifth Avenue to bring genuine bags back home. Louis Vuitton's move against Sogo reinforces these tourists' belief in the importance of authenticity, and will perhaps, in itself, be a driving force towards China becoming a more "authentic" society.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 21, 2013 11:49 AM.

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