Chinese shop fined for selling fake Puma T-shirts

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BEIJING, Nov 6 (Reuters) A court in southwest China has ordered a local shop to pay German sportswear maker Puma 20,000 yuan (2,683 dollars) in damages for selling T-shirts with a fake Puma logo and name, the Xinhua news agency said today.

Under international criticism for widespread sales of fake goods, China is making a show of cracking down. In September it launched a 100,000 yuan reward for citizens who report copyright violators.

Puma AG filed a suit in March against the sportswear shop in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, saying the shop owner, surnamed Wu, had infringed its brand.

Last month, a Beijing court ordered the Silk Street or Xiushui market, a top tourist attraction, to pay 40,000 yuan in fines for allowing vendors to sell fake North Face clothing.

VF Corp, which owns the North Face brand, had sought 500,000 yuan in compensation.

Puma AG registered its trademark in China in 1999 and has the exclusive trademark rights over its name until December 2008 and the panther logo until October 2011, Xinhua said. Puma denied granting any other company rights to use its logo.

In July this year, it won a similar lawsuit against a supermarket in Shanghai which sold fake Puma athletics shoes and eventually paid the German company 100,000 yuan in damages, Xinhua said.

Nonetheless, sneakers with the Puma logo remain widely available at clothing markets for less than 15 dollars a pair.

REUTERS NC SK RAI2322

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