FRANCE: Columbia Sportswear Takes Counterfeiter To Court
Columbia Sportswear Company (NASDAQ:COLM), producer of high quality outdoor apparel and footwear, formally announced that it won a trademark infringement dispute with Ruffneck Sarl for counterfeiting Columbia Sportswear's Camp Muir Parka(TM). The Camp Muir Parka was introduced by Columbia in 1996 both in the United States and Europe. Paris-based Ruffneck Sarl Company, through a June 27, 2000 Court of Paris ruling, was ordered to stop selling the infringing parka and pay damages to Columbia Sportswear. The ruling also requires that Ruffneck pay for publication of the judgement in the press. "Counterfeiting clearly endangers our sales and brand image - an image that has taken 60 years to achieve," said Tim Boyle, president and chief executive officer of Columbia Sportswear. "Companies that copy our products mislead our customers while benefiting from our image. Thankfully we caught this infringement before the counterfeiter could inflict much damage." Columbia owns the rights to the "Columbia Sportswear" name in numerous countries around the world. Internationally, Columbia employees, independent sales representatives and distributors are trained to identify counterfeits and other infringing garments and to immediately report them to corporate headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Over the past seven years, Columbia has successfully forced more than 50 companies to stop selling imitations of its popular outdoor apparel and footwear products.
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