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Toronto woman must pay damages to luxury retailers in counterfeit sales case

Last Updated Aug 12, 2019 at 5:36 pm EDT

A bag is seen backstage ahead of the Louis Vuitton Men's Fall/Winter collection on Jan. 22 2009. A federal court ruled a woman who sold counterfeit luxury goods must forgo a trial, and pay damages or profits to the companies. Justice John Norris writes in his ruling that Natalie Mary Tobey, who operates an unregistered business named TBF Accessories, sold counterfeit Celine, Givenchy, Dior and Louis Vuitton handbags and apparel.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Thibault Camus

A federal court has ruled a woman who sold counterfeit luxury goods in the Toronto area won’t receive a trial in the case, and must pay damages to well-known brands including Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton.

Justice John Norris writes in a ruling dated August 8 that Natalie Mary Tobey, who operates an unregistered business named TBF Accessories, sold counterfeit Celine, Givenchy, Dior and Louis Vuitton handbags and apparel out of multiple locations, including a Toronto home.

The ruling, which covers four separate actions from the companies, says Tobey’s defence argued her merchandise substantially differed from the companies’ goods and that reasonably informed people would not confuse them.

But Norris writes “this defence has no hope of success whatsoever.”

He also dismissed other potential issues for trial, including whether the defendant is personally liable for the trademark infringement or the corporation.

Norris ruled a trial should not take place and the amount she owes the defendants could be determined by a court appointee.