Iconix Brand Group said Wednesday (11 April) that a California superior court jury had ruled in its favour in its suit against Sweet Sportswear, Hubert Guez and other parties alleging infringement of its Bongo trademark and other particulars.

The jury rewarded Iconix approximately US$45m in compensatory damages and found that the defendants acted with "malice, fraud or oppression" with regard to the claims, according to Iconix.

The suit was originally filed in August 2004 against Sweet Sportswear, Azteca Production International Apparel Distribution Services and Hubert Guez, principal of the defendants and a former Iconix director. Iconix sought at least $30m in damages.

Counterclaims filed by the defendants were dismissed, according to Iconix, which also said that, while appeals of the finding can be filed, an "appropriate bond" will be required to secure the judgment.

A punitive stage of the trial will begin shortly. Adjudication of the case began 22 January, according to Iconix's annual report. The listed plaintiff was Iconix's Unzipped Apparel subsidiary.

Court papers weren't immediately available, and the defendants couldn't be reached for comment.

Iconix said that the court will determine in a later proceeding whether the trademark infringement claims merit the awarding of treble damages. Iconix may also be entitled to recover certain attorneys' fees and costs, which were not specified.

In addition to trademark infringement, the court considered charges of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.
By Arnold J Karr.