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August 14, 2012

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Fake wine sellers to pay 500,000 yuan

FRENCH wine maker Societe Jas Hennessy & Co was compensated 500,000 yuan (US$78,570) in a trademark infringement case against a Chinese company and a couple who sold counterfeit wine in Shanghai, Guangzhou and north China's Hebei Province, the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court said yesterday.

The court heard the couple registered a company with the name of France Hennessy Group (HK) Co Limited in Hong Kong in April 2008.

They claimed the company was a branch of the plaintiff and began to buy counterfeit wines from Jinhai Co in Hebei Province.

The counterfeits' labels were printed with "Hennessypt." The producer, Jinhai, also used Hennessy's famous logo that depicts an arm holding an axe, but turned the direction of the axe from right to left.

The court heard the couple bought the fake wines at 10 yuan to 48 yuan from Jinhai and sold them at 15 yuan to 148 yuan to wine agents in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hebei.

The couple was forced to change their company's name in 2009 after Hennessy filed a lawsuit in Hong Kong. The French company then began filing complaints on the mainland.

Last year, Hennessy filed a lawsuit at the Pudong New Area People's Court, demanding 1 million yuan in compensation from five defendants.

The intermediate court ordered Jinhai and the couple to pay 460,000 yuan and 40,000 yuan, respectively.


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