Page last updated at 16:52 GMT, Thursday, 6 May 2010 17:52 UK

Versace wins $20m compensation

Donatella Versace
Donatella Versace is the firm's chief designer and co-owner

Italian fashion house Versace has been awarded $20m (£13.4m) in damages by a court in the US city of Los Angeles for wilful counterfeiting.

Following a complaint from Versace, police charged 110 people in southern California and Arizona in 2003 for selling fake Versace goods.

The award is the highest ever given to an Italian company defending its brand, Versace says.

More than 70 retail shops were seized during the case.

"We have won a historic judgement," Versace's chief executive, Gian Giacomo Ferraris, was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

The effects of the ruling would benefit all of the luxury Italian brands, he added.

Versace had revenues of $359.6m (£241m) in 2009, according to Reuters.

But the company cut a quarter of its workforce last year, blaming a slump in demand for luxury goods and designer items.

The brother of the late Gianni Versace, Santo Versace was a key witness in the case, Reuters adds.

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