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Gucci wins $144 million in US counterfeit trial

Counterfeit brand-name clothing on display in Beijing on June 12, 2007
Counterfeit brand-name clothing on display in Beijing on June 12, 2007

Gucci on Thursday welcomed a US court's decision to award the global fashion empire $144.2 million in damages from online sellers of counterfeit merchandise.

A list of 155 domain names, sued for selling and promoting counterfeit Gucci merchandise, were ordered to shut down or surrender to Gucci within 30 days.

Gucci filed the lawsuit earlier this year, accusing the online sellers of counterfeiting and cybersquatting. The court on Wednesday ruled in Gucci's favor.

The websites copied Gucci campaign advertisements, logos, product images and descriptions from official websites, and many also used Gucci in their domain name.

The sites were registered in Britain, Canada, the Cocos Islands, France, Italy, Japan and the United States.

Gucci president and CEO Patrizio di Marco welcomed the judgment and said the company would continue to fight against counterfeiting across the globe.

The websites exploited "Gucci's unique creativity which has been harmful to Gucci’s image, business and well-known trademark reputation for creating high quality artisanal 'Made in Italy' products," the firm said.

Founded in Italy in 1921, Gucci is one of the world's most instantly recognizable, luxury fashion brands.

Owned by the Kering Group, it is known in particular for its handbags, shoes, clothes and jewelery, but also manufactures luggage, eyewear and fragrances.

In English slang the word Gucci is sometimes used to refer to something fancy, extravagant or shiny.