Louis Vuitton involved in landmark online counterfeiting case

Malaysia

A case that is scheduled to reach the courts soon is expected to be groundbreaking as it will be the first time Malaysia's Trademark Law will be used against an online counterfeiter.

The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs recently raided the house of a suspected counterfeiter who was allegedly involved in the sale of a number of counterfeit goods - including Louis Vuitton handbags - via a website. In order to conduct the raid, the ministry invoked Section 3(1)(b) of the Trade Descriptions Act, which states that it is an offence for a person to supply goods to which a false trade description is applied. A trade description might include, among other things, the goods' designation, method of manufacture or composition.

The ministry was alerted to the counterfeit activity by Louis Vuitton, which routinely conducts internet searches for the sale of fake merchandise. Preliminary investigations revealed that a number of individuals were selling counterfeit Louis Vuitton merchandise on the Web, including the Malaysian suspect. The ministry then carried out the raid and seized the infringing articles, as well as computer hardware.

Karen Abraham, Shearn Delamore & Co, Kuala Lumpur

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