Gucci America, Inc. v. Weixing Li

135 F. Supp. 3d 87 (2015)

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Gucci America, Inc. v. Weixing Li

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
135 F. Supp. 3d 87 (2015)

  • Written by Ann Wooster, JD

Facts

A distributor of luxury goods in the United States, Gucci America, Inc. (Gucci) (plaintiff) owned many trademarks for its well-known products. Gucci discovered that the owners and operators (officers) (defendants) of a Chinese website, Weixing Li (Weixing) (defendant) were selling counterfeit Gucci products bearing false trademarks. Gucci filed a trademark-infringement action under the Lanham Act against Weixing. Gucci learned that some of Weixing’s officers were wiring the counterfeit sales proceeds to their accounts at the Bank of China (the BOC). The court issued a preliminary injunction freezing Weixing’s assets, enjoining the BOC and other banks from secreting Weixing’s counterfeit sales proceeds and ordering the banks to provide financial documentation for Weixing’s officers upon request. Gucci moved to compel the BOC to produce financial account information for all of Weixing’s officers. The court granted Gucci’s motion to compel this information and issued a Rule 45 subpoena that was properly served at the BOC’s New York branch. The BOC produced incomplete financial account information and filed a motion for reconsideration of the court’s order due to Chinese bank secrecy laws that prohibited the disclosure of customer information outside of China. The court denied the BOC’s motion for reconsideration. The BOC appealed the court’s order. The appeals court vacated the court’s order and remanded the case for the court to consider whether there was specific personal jurisdiction over the BOC consistent with the principles of comity in § 442 of the Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law. Gucci filed a motion to compel the BOC’s compliance with the Rule 45 subpoena to provide financial account information for Weixing’s officers.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sullivan, J.)

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