Louboutin wins Russian counterfeit cosmetics case

Louboutin wins Russian counterfeit cosmetics case

Christian Louboutin has won a lawsuit against four Russian companies for selling imitation Louboutin fragrances, granting the French company injunctive relief to prevent the rivals selling the products in question.

The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals in Moscow came down in favour of Louboutin, and also ordered the Russian companies - InterLuxParfum, Image Parfum, Klementina and InterPrestige Group - to pay 24  million rubles for violation of trademark rights.

Ongoing dispute

This latest decision confirms that made by the country’s lower court in April, which the defendants contested with this appeal.

According to The Fashion Law, the court rejected the Russian companies’ claim that the perfume products were imported legally and there was a lack of similarity between the contested trademarks and those of Louboutin. However, the court ruled they had indeed unlawfully used trademarks owned by Louboutin.

"The decision of the Moscow Arbitration Court of April 22, 2016 should be left unchanged and appeals should not be sustained," Judge Natalia Levchenko said at the session, Russian news outlet TASS reports.

The decree may be appealed in two months in the court for intellectual rights, and Image Parfum is reportedly preparing to appeal against the latest ruling.

Trademark protection

Trademark violation has long been a particularly contentious issue within beauty and personal care, due to the industry’s distinctive emphasis on brand identity and its potential to foster committed brand loyalty among consumers.

A particularly decisive win was seen when ethical beauty brand Lush took on e-retail marketplace Amazon for deliberately misdirecting consumer searches. Amazon took consumers to other products when searching for Lush, despite the beauty brand having explicitly refused to retail on the platform.

The ruling noted that Lush has “an image which it says it wishes to preserve and it has taken the decision not to allow its goods to be sold on Amazon because of the damage that it perceives there would be to that reputation.”

In the ruling, the judge stated that Amazon had ridden roughshod over intellectual property rights”.

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