Louis Vuitton wins copyright lawsuit against Vietnamese shopkeeper

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The Supreme People's Court in Ho Chi Minh City ordered a shopkeeper to pay fines and make public apology for selling fake Louis Vuitton products in an appeal trial held on October 27.

Le Thi Hong, who owned a kiosk at the Saigon Square department store in HCMC, will have to pay VND68 million (US$3,240) as compensation for copyright violations.

Hong also was ordered to publish her apology to Louis Vuitton in local newspapers.

In May 2009, Louis Vuitton discovered that Hong sold counterfeit products under its brand at her store and sent her a note asking her to cease. After Hong ignored the request, the company reported the case to local authorities.

Hong was subjected to administrative fines four times but kept on selling the fake products.

Last November, Louis Vuitton brought the case to court. It sought a compensation sum of $13,430 and Hong's public apology. Louis Vuitton also proposed that local authorities suspend Hong's business for three months.

In the first trial, the HCMC People's Court ordered Hong to stop any acts that infringed on the brand's copyright and to issue a public apology to the company.

The court also ordered Hong to pay VND68 million (US$3,240) as compensation.

Hong admitted her acts, asking the court to reduce the compensation sum, given her family's financial difficulties.

However, the appeal court upheld the initial sentence.

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