Apr 10, 2009
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Hermes hails record Taiwan trademark infringement fine

Apr 10, 2009

TAIPEI, April 10, 2009 (AFP) - French luxury goods group Hermes on Friday 10 April hailed a Taiwan court's ruling to impose a record fine of 7.77 million US dollars on a former employee for selling counterfeit bags.

Silk handkerchiefs by Hermès

"The compensation award is the largest amount ever awarded in a trademark infringement case in Taiwan. Hermes Taiwan is grateful for the decision," a company statement said.

Hermes "believes it will serve as a warning to those unscrupulous operators seeking to profit from the sale of counterfeit goods."

According to Taiwanese trademark laws, violators can be subject to a fine between 500 to 1,500 times of the price of the original product.

Joyce Lee, a former Hermes saleswoman, was convicted of selling four fake Hermes Haut a Courroie and Birkin bags totalling 2.05 million Taiwan dollars (60,000 US) between 2004 and 2005.

Lee must publish the verdict in two local newspapers as an apology to the company and its customers according to the ruling.

Hermes said that Lee acquired the company's VIP lists without authorisation and approached some clients claiming that she could get past the waiting lists to obtain the bags for them.

Hermes bags, which can cost up to six million Taiwan dollars each, are highly sought after, particularly among the island's celebrities, and there is a waiting period of between eight to ten years for a crocodile Birkin bag, according to the company.

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