Court Holds Web Host Responsible In Louis Vuitton Counterfeit Case

A California court ruled that the company hosting a Web site selling Louis Vuitton knock-offs was responsible for copyright infringement, and ordered the host to pay $32.4 million in damages .

No word on whether the hosts, Akanoc Solutions Inc. and Managed Solutions Group Inc., had knowledge of the site and had attempted to take it down or not.

Under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, a Web host can be held responsible for its subscribers’ illegal actions if it benefited financially from those actions, was aware of the illegal activity but did nothing to stop it, or did not act quickly enough to remove the content. (Via Daily Finance.)

AP: Louis Vuitton Malletier SA, a unit of French luxury goods maker LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, said Monday that a federal jury in California awarded it $32.4 million in damages in a copyright infringement lawsuit against businesses that hosted Web sites selling counterfeit consumer products.

Louis Vuitton Malletier filed the lawsuit in 2007, after finding a group of Web sites with the same Internet address selling what it believed was counterfeit Louis Vuitton merchandise.

The Web sites were hosted by Akanoc Solutions Inc. and Managed Solutions Group Inc., businesses in Fremont, Calif., controlled by Steven Chen.

On Friday, the jury found Akanoc Solutions, Managed Solutions Group and Steven Chen liable for contributory trademark and copyright infringement and awarded Louis Vuitton $32.4 million in damages.

Louis Vuitton said it expects the court where the lawsuit was filed, the San Jose branch of the U.S. District Court for Northern California, to issue a permanent injunction banning the defendants from hosting Web sites that sell counterfeit goods.

Steven Chen could not immediately be reached.

Image: THOR

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