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April 25, 2014

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Victoria’s Secret sues local shop for 5m yuan

LINGERIE brand Victoria’s Secret is suing a local investment management company for the unlicensed use of its trademark in a city center retail store, the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court heard yesterday.

The United States-based chain, which is owned by L Brands Inc, is demanding compensation of 5.1 million yuan (US$817,500) and wants the store to stop using the trademark on its signage, loyalty cards and employee name tags. It also wants an apology to be printed in Xinmin Evening News and on the women’s clothing website

Victoria’s Secret, which is a registered trademark in more than 100 countries and regions, including China, filed the suit on January 23 after spotting the use of its name at the store in the Metro City shopping mall in downtown Xujiahui. The shop also advertised itself as a Victoria’s Secret franchise and claimed it was the sole distributor for the lingerie brand in China’s mainland.

The plaintiff claimed the actions of the defendant had damaged its reputation in China and would impact on its future growth in the country.

The defendant, however, said it was authorized to use the trademark by Shanghai Jintian Clothing Co, a local company that had earlier purchased US$5 million worth of Victoria’s Secret products from L Brands.

Last April, Jintian paid Victoria’s Secret 80,000 yuan in compensation for breaking its contract with the US firm by selling the clothes wholesale.

No verdict was reached yesterday.


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