MILAN (AP) — Versace SpA, the design house founded by the late Gianni Versace, says a U.S. court has awarded it $20 million in damages for trademark violations and willful counterfeiting.
Versace said in a statement on Thursday that the award stems from the company's 2003 complaint regarding the sale of counterfeit goods bearing the Versace brand. Law enforcement officials subsequently seized 72 stores in southern California and Los Angeles, and arrested 110 people.
Versace says the award by a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles is the highest ever to an Italian company defending its brand.
CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris called the award "historic" and said it shows that the trade in counterfeiting goods can be successfully "taken on and defeated."