06 May Versace wins case $20 million
MILAN – Versace won a record compensation of $20 million in a counterfeit case against U.S. retail stores. Versace says the award by a US District Court in Los Angeles is the highest ever to an Italian company defending its brand.
The medusa-logoed company, whose glittering gowns are worn by film stars such as Drew Barrymore and Penelope Cruz, said the damages awarded by a U.S. court were one of the highest ever obtained by an Italian company in a case brought abroad to protect trademark.
Versace had revenues of 268 million euros or $359.6 million, in 2009. The ruling is immediately executable, the company said.
“We have won a historic judgment, reached at the culmination of the anti-counterfeiting action undertaken by the Group and whose effects will benefit all the luxury Italian brands,” Versace’s Chief Executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris said in a statement.
Santo Versace, brother of company’s founder Gianni who was murdered in 1997, appeared as a key witness in the case.
More than 70 retail stores in Southern California and Arizona and over 110 people were investigated during the case.
Versace’s seven-year lawsuit is one of many brought by luxury goods companies to protect their brand names from fraud.