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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 11:41 GMT
Hennessy wins China piracy case
Bottle of Hennessy VS cognac
Overseas firms are seeking brand protection in Chinese courts
Two Chinese firms have been ordered to pay compensation to drinks maker Societe Jas Hennessy, and to stop selling items breaching its trademarks.

A Shanghai court said wines marketed by Xiang Mu Tong Trading and bottled by Xiamen Golden Huanya Food were too similar to Hennessy's name.

They had been produced under the names Hanlissy or Henglishi in Chinese.

The firms must pay a total of 300,000 yuan (21,542; $37,000). Piracy of foreign goods is a problem in China.

The wine was sold as "French cognac brandy" in local supermarkets, but had been bottled in China.

The court said the Chinese companies had sought to mislead consumers.

High-profile case

Societe Jas Hennessy is a unit of French luxury goods maker LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton. It had sought 500,000 yuan in compensation.

The parent group has previously said that fake brand-name goods continue to cause problems in China, despite the government's promise of a crackdown.

The group's fashion and leather goods unit, Louis Vuitton, spent 50 million euros in its fight against fake goods worldwide last year.

Overseas firms are increasingly looking for court protection for their trademarks, patents and other intellectual property in China.

However, fake copies of major brands still abound in China. In a high-profile case, five world-famous luxury goods makers are suing Beijing's Silk Street market, accusing it of selling counterfeit items.

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