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The French Paradox

Chanel is a major global brand.  It gets knocked off.  It doesn't do the knocking off -- except maybe it does. 

Chanel currently stands accused of counterfeiting, by one of its own suppliers.  In a French court last week, World Tricot claimed that Chanel had rejected a WT knitwear sample and then gone on to produce an item of the same design.  The president of WT spotted the item in question, a white crochet vest with floral and shell patterns, in the window of a Chanel boutique in Tokyo. 

Lawsuits between manufacturers and major brands are nothing new.  The brand name company might challenge the quality of certain items, the supplier might miss delivery dates, or an unscrupulous manufacturer might produce extra items and distribute them through discount channels.  But in those cases, legal action would be most likely initiated by the design house, not the other way around.

Chanel claims that the initial sample was created according to its own instructions, presumably implying that it owns the design.  The commercial court wasn't ready to make that determination, though, urging both parties to settle their dispute through mediation to avoid potential "indirect consequences to the profession."

Or maybe the judge just couldn't believe what he was hearing. 

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» More on a Big Challenge from a Petit Main from Counterfeit Chic
Several months ago, Counterfeit Chic noted a legal challenge to Chanel by one of its suppliers, the small knitwear company World Tricot.  In a reversal of Chanel's role as the outraged victim of counterfeiting, the couture house was charged with... [Read More]