>Chanel S de R.L., et al. v Lam Chan Kee Company
Ltd., et al. 2015 FC 1091, is a case involving counterfeit
CHANEL® goods. Justice Martineau of the Federal Court heard a
summary trial (based only on affidavits and out of court
cross-examinations) and granted judgement for an injunction and
damages totalling $380,000, including $64,000 in nominal damages,
$250,000 in punitive and exemplary damages, and $66,000 in costs.
There was evidence of infringement over a period of years and past
claims and consent orders against the business. Personal liability
was found on the part of one of the personal defendants on the
basis that she aided and abetted, authorized and sanctioned the
infringements, as well as was the owner of the premises from which
the retail sales of the counterfeit goods were taking place.
The two corporate defendants filed no defences and the personal
defendants (a husband and wife) had argued that a full trial with
live witnesses was required. Their company had been accused of
infringing CHANEL® properties in the past and settled and
consented to orders prohibiting further infringements. But, they
argued that they had since sold the business to their children and
any further infringements were not their responsibility. Without
live testimony, the Court was prepared to dispense with this
defence. Given the recidivist behaviour, on the facts (only a
fraction of the alleged purchase price had been paid, and the
alleged sale was not reported to the government until after the
litigation commenced) there were no credibility issues requiring a
full trial. As there was evidence the wife continued to be involved
in the retail business the entire time, she was found personally
liable as owner of the premises.
This is another case in which the Federal Court was prepared to
give a hard look at evidence raised in defence of summary
proceedings for the sale of counterfeit luxury goods, and to find
significant personal liability on the part of those responsible,
including significant punitive damages.
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