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Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Husch Blackwell Partner Jim White Suggests Next Steps for Louis Vuitton Following International Trade Commission Victory

In The News
6.01.12

A Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article suggests the battle for upscale French fashion retailer Louis Vuitton isn’t over, even after securing a summary determination at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). The ITC’s ruling grants customs agents the power to seize any counterfeit Louis Vuitton imports as they enter the country, but that does not put an end to imitations. More than 60 percent of responding companies surveyed in 2010 said fake products still make their way into the U.S. despite winning the ITC’s general exclusion order. Husch Blackwell Intellectual Property Litigation Department Co-Chair Jim White says Louis Vuitton should now work to educate U.S. customs agents on where to look, and what to look for, to spot the counterfeit merchandise. White assisted Ty Inc. in eliminating similar Beanie Baby forgeries in the late 1990s and dealt directly with customs in an effort to catch as many counterfeits as possible for his client. In the Beanie Baby case, White informed customs which port legitimate Ty products entered through, and sent examples of the real and counterfeit products to the agents. In addition, White set up a hotline at the firm for agents to call when any additional information was needed.  “You get your exclusion order, and what do you need to do? Set forth an enforcement plan for customs,” White said. “The more you keep [customs agents] informed, the easier you make their job, the more they are likely to cooperate with you.”