Fake Louis Vuitton Goods Destroyed in Philippines

Recently, P1.2 billion worth of bogus Louis Vuitton products were destroyed following a government crackdown on counterfeiters.

The destroyed counterfeits were seized from shopping malls, retail outlets and warehouses in and around Metro Manila.

“In coordination with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, fake Louis Vuitton goods were removed from the Greenhills Shopping Centre in San Juan,” said lawyer Rhona Vergara, the senior partner of the Vergara Mamangun Jamero Gonzales (VMJG) Law Offices, the retained Philippine counsel of Louis Vuitton.

According to Vergara, the French fashion house owns 50 of the world’s most famous and valuable brands that include—aside from Louis Vuitton—Marc Jacobs, Fendi and Céline.

But Vergara added that Louis Vuitton suffers the most at the hands of counterfeiters.

Vergara said the problem had turned into a national embarrassment.

“The proliferation of vendors brazenly plying counterfeit goods even inside malls, coupled with the lack of enthusiasm of law enforcers to check the problem was not improving our image abroad,” she said.

“Louis Vuitton also worried about the potential blight that the bogus goods were creating on the luxury brand,” the lawyer added.

The problem prompted Louis Vuitton representatives to fly to Manila last November to personally request the help of authorities.

In coordination with lawyers from the VMJG Law Offices, the Louis Vuitton officials were able to arrange an audience with Commissioner Angelito Alvarez of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Director General Ricardo Blancaflor of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

During the meeting, Louis Vuitton officials received the assurance of Alvarez and Blancaflor of the support of their respective agencies to mount a crackdown on Louis Vuitton counterfeiters.

Personnel from the BOC, IPO, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Division within the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police have consolidated their efforts to mount a series of raids on known havens of bogus Louis Vuitton products.

“All the confiscated items, valued at P1.2 billion, were recently taken to the Ecosafe Organics destruction facility inside the Manila Harbour Centre, where they were shredded and destroyed,” Vergara said.

Source – cbp.gov, February 2010

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