On December 3, 2010, Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. of France and Louis Vuitton U.S. Manufacturing, Inc. of San Dimas, California (collectively, “Louis Vuitton”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.
The complaint alleges that a host of proposed respondents from Guangzhou China, Texas and California – T&T Hanbag Industrial Co., Ltd., Sanjiu Leather Co., Ltd. of Guangzhou, Meada Corporation (d/b/a Diophy International), Pacpro, Inc., Jianyon Zheng, Alice Bei Wang, Trendy Creations, Inc., The Inspired Bagger, and House of Bags, unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain handbags, luggage, accessories and packaging thereof that infringe U.S. Trademark Registration Nos. 297,594, 1,643,625, 1,653,663, 1,875,198, 2,773,107, 2,177,828, 2,181,753, and 1,519,828.
The Inspired Bagger and House of Bags are alleged to be in the business of purchasing counterfeit bags from China and selling them in the United States.
As for the other proposed respondents, Louis Vuitton alleges that husband and wife team Jianyon Zheng and Alice Bei Wang “own, operate or control large-scale international counterfeiting and infringing enterprises targeting Louis Vuitton, among other brands.” The Complaint alleges that Zheng and Wang created an elaborate set of shell corporations, including the other proposed respondents (with the exception of The Inspired Bagger and House of Bags).
Louis Vuitton also alleges Zheng and Wang hide ownership and structure by dissolving and reincorporating various organizations. In fact, Louis Vuitton points to one entity controlled by Zheng that Louis Vuitton alleges was dissolved days after he met with Louis Vuitton to discuss counterfeiting allegations. Due to the frequent dissolution and reincorporation of companies, Louis Vuitton believes there may be other undiscovered entities controlled by Zheng or Wang.
The proposed respondents are accused of infringing numerous marks protecting Louis Vuitton’s famous Toile Monogram Mark by selling bags that are either counterfeit (and, in some cases, advertised as “knockoffs”) or have confusingly similar design elements.
Louis Vuitton argues it satisfies the domestic industry prong due to its production facility in San Dimas, California which employs numerous workers and produces, among other things, bags with the Toile Monogram Mark.
Louis Vuitton seeks a permanent exclusion order and permanent cease and desist order.