French brand Lacoste has brought to court the owner of Beijing’s Silk Market Plaza and some of its tenants for selling fake T-shirts with its labels, claiming its trademark was infringed upon. The French company, La Chemise Lacoste, also has asked for a compensation of 100,000 yuan (12,500 U.S. dollars) from each of the accused. This lawsuit was filed after owners of Beijing’s retail markets, including the Silk Market Plaza, the successor of the famous Xiushui Market, also known as Silk Street Market, signed a deal with European name brands on Wednesday, promising to evict tenants who were found violating the intellectual property rights of luxury name brands from Europe. Sports and leisure clothing group, Lacoste claims that a number of tenants have been found selling cheap but fake Lacoste T-shirts with crocodile logos since the Silk Market Plaza was open to business in 2005.
The case is being handled by the Second Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing. The court did not disclose any information on the development of the case. In yet another action last September, five other luxury brands – Burberry, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada – jointly filed a lawsuit against Xiushui Haosen, owner of the Silk Market, and five of its stallholders. The European Union and the United States have maintained pressure on China to combat counterfeits, which U.S. software and entertainment firms say costs them $2.5 billion a year. Lacoste’s fight for logo continues, although it has lost its last lawsuit against Singapore Crocodile International, which also features the word “Crocodile” and a logo based on the toothy reptile.