Burberry and Louis Vuitton have lost their appeal in a trademark dispute against local transport company Megastar Shipping.
The luxury brands alleged that Megastar Shipping had handled counterfeit goods in Singapore that were headed for Indonesia, citing the Trade Marks Act that states a trademark is infringed by any person found to import or export goods using that mark without the proprietor’s consent.
The upper division of the Singapore Supreme Court found this week that Megastar was not the importer of counterfeit goods shipped from China that were seized in March 2013, and was only intended to handle the goods in transit to their final destination in Indonesia. Megastar Shipping had been listed on seaway bills and arrival notices as the consignee of the goods.
The appeals court ruled that the protection of IP rights had to be balanced against extending liability for infringement to “honest commercial persons who happened to be tangentially involved” in the shipping of counterfeit goods.