Last September, a U.S. District Court judge ordered Bank of China to turn over financial records from several Chinese companies that were accused of selling counterfeit Gucci goods, and then keeping the ill-gained millions in profits in accounts at state-controlled Chinese banks. The bank argued that turning over such records would violate China’s secrecy laws, and just because these Chinese banks have branches in the U.S., that does not give U.S. courts authority over them. The issue has kicked around for the last few months with various motions being filed and argued.
This month the same judge held Bank of China in contempt of court for failing to turn over financial records requested by the plaintiff’s in the lawsuit, a coalition of luxury brands that includes Gucci. The judge ruled that Bank of China used “ridiculous” delay tactics and was essentially telling brand owners to “suck it up.” From the $50,000-a-day tab, Gucci claims it is owed $12 million in trademark infringement compensation.
We have to ask: How many incredibly over-priced bags would Gucci have to sell to make $12 million the old fashioned way?