Delhi HC Orders Businessman To Pay ₹5lakh To Louis Vuitton For Selling Its Counterfeit Products
The Delhi High Court has directed a shop owner to pay Rs 5 lakh to French luxury brand Louis Vuitton for selling its counterfeit products even after having been injuncted from doing so.
The bench of Justice C. Hari Shankar observed that counterfeiting is a commercial evil, which has serious repercussions on the fabric of the national economy.
“Counterfeiting is an extremely serious matter, the ramifications of which extend far beyond the confines of the small shop of the petty counterfeiter. It is a commercial evil, which erodes brand value, amounts to duplicity with the trusting consumer, and, in the long run, has serious repercussions on the fabric of the national economy.”, the Court observed.
The Court further added that a counterfeiter is entitled to no sympathy, as he practices, knowingly and with complete impunity, falsehood and deception.
“A counterfeiter abandons, completely, any right to equitable consideration by a Court functioning within the confines of the rule of law. He is entitled to no sympathy, as he practices, knowingly and with complete impunity, falsehood and deception.”, the Court noted.
In this case, Louis Vuitton Malletier (the proprietor of the LV brand) had filed a suit against several small entities that are alleged to be manufacturing and marketing articles bearing counterfeit LV marks.
While issuing summons in the suit, the High Court, had passed the interlocutory order of restraint.
Louis Vuitton has alleged that even after passing the order of injunction, goods bearing fake logos of the LV brand as well as other luxury brands were being sold by a shop owner.
Counsel who appeared for Defendant 2, frankly acknowledged the fact that, in fact, his client had been selling LV branded belts even after passing of the order.
He, however, submitted that his client is a paltry businessman, who runs his establishment in a small shop that has been taken on rent.
Advocate Pravin Anand appeared for Louis Vuitton whereas Advocates Kailash Sharma and Birender Bhatt appeared for Defendants.
The Court observed that “…the defendant chose to continue with his business of selling counterfeited LV branded goods, even after having been injuncted from doing so, augments his culpability. Apologies and entreaties to the Court, after having so acted, can hardly mitigate the misdemeanor.”
The Court observed that interests of justice would best be subserved if the defendant is directed to pay, to the plaintiff, ₹ 5 lakhs within a period of four weeks.
“I am of the opinion that the interests of justice would best be subserved if, in the present case, the defendant is directed to pay, to the plaintiff, ₹ 5 lakhs within a period of four weeks from today, failing which Mr. Javed Ansari, the proprietor of Defendant 2, shall suffer incarceration in civil prison in Tihar Jail for a period of one week.”, the Court held.
Cause Title- Louis Vuitton Malletier v. Capital General Store & Ors.