SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – An importer must face a civil penalty for importing counterfeit Tommy Hilfiger watches, even though the fashion designer did not make watches at the time, the 9th Circuit ruled.
Able Time Inc. successfully argued in trial court that the Tariff Act did not apply in this case because the goods were not counterfeit – that is, there were no real “Tommy” watches in existence.
Judge Clifton reversed the decision.
“The Tariff Act prohibits the importation of merchandise bearing a registered trademark without the permission of the owner of the trademark,” Clifton wrote. “The plain language is unambiguous and does not contain an identity of goods and services requirement.”