by Tamera H. BennettJune 4, 2007
Lacoste "1935" logo
Lacoste "2002" logo
A BEIJING court ordered three Chinese companies to pay French clothing giant Lacoste a total of $98,700 US dollars (760,000 yuan)in damages for trademark infringement.
Lacoste sued three defendants for trademark infringement in July 2006. The suit was based on defendant Guangzhou Taie Dress Co. Ltd., registration of a "Golden Crocodile" trademark that consisted of a crocodile, waves and two Chinese characters. The company only used or highlighted the image of the crocodile, rendering it almost identical to Lacoste's logo, said a spokesman for the Beijing First Intermediate People's Court on Sunday (June 3, 2007).
All three defendants will share in paying damages to Lacoste. Taie, as the manufacturer of the garment will bear the largest portion of the fine. All existing garments bearing the infringing trademark must be destroyed.
The famous Lacoste crocodile trademark is registered in 192 countries and has been in use in the U.S. since 1950 and in Europe since 1935.
Lacoste has had several trademark battles over the years in China. In 2005, Lacoste reached a settlement after a five year legal battle with clothing manufacturer Zhejiang Crocodile Garment Co. Ltd.