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Market sued by US firm

AN American luxury goods manufacturer is suing a garment market operator on Qipu Road for allowing stall holders to sell counterfeit items.

Judges at the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court said it was the first time a market operator had been listed as the only defendant in a fake goods case.

Coach Inc, best known for its leather bags and accessories, is seeking 500,000 yuan (US$73,206) compensation from Shanghai Xingwang International Garment City Managing Co Ltd.

The court will have to decide the extent of the defendant's responsibility over what is being sold by its stall holders.

Coach told the court it had registered its trademark on the Chinese mainland in 1999.

It found recently that three stall holders in the Xingwang market were selling fakes with the Coach trademark.

Coach wrote to the market operator, asking it to stop the infringement. But fakes were still being sold in the market a month later, the indictment said.

The court accepted the lawsuit and sent a copy of the indictment to the defendant. The operator hadn't provided any documents within the time limit, judges said.

The operator also refused to comment on the lawsuit when contacted by Shanghai Daily yesterday.

The court has heard trademark disputes involving the Qipu Road markets before but this was the first time a market operator had been listed as sole defendant.


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