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TMCNet:  Macias Counsel, Inc. Sues Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior for Malicious Conduct in Santee Alley "Knock-Offs" Case

[August 14, 2008]

Macias Counsel, Inc. Sues Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior for Malicious Conduct in Santee Alley "Knock-Offs" Case

(Marketwire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) LOS ANGELES, CA, August 14 / MARKET WIRE/ --

A malicious prosecution lawsuit against
Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior was filed today by downtown Los Angeles
shop owners George and Marijeanne Antounian, charging the companies and
their attorneys with bringing an unlawful lawsuit against them for selling
knock-off products (Antounians v. Louis Vuitton et al, Los Angeles County
Superior Court, Case No. BC396340). The malicious prosecution suit alleges
that Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, and their respective lawyers knew the
allegations of copyright and trademark infringement were not true but
continued with the litigation, ultimately forcing the shop to close and the
owners to liquidate their inventory.

Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior hired a private investigation company,
Investigative Consultants, in 2005 to determine whether stores on Santee
Alley in downtown Los Angeles were selling counterfeit Louis Vuitton and
Christian Dior wallets, purses and other goods. After nearly two years of
investigations, the suit alleges Investigative Consultants wrongfully
concluded that the Antounians, owners of the Bijou Palace at 1116 Santee
Alley, sold fake Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior products. An
investigation video showed the counterfeit transactions occurring at
adjacent stores and in the alley itself but not at Bijou Palace.

"The Antounians' store, Bijou Palace, sold only costume jewelry and was not
in the business of selling purses and wallets," says Sean Macias, managing
partner of Macias Counsel, Inc. in Glendale and lead attorney representing
the Antounians.

William Salle, co-counsel for the Antounians, says a member of the
investigation team, Arianna Ortiz, admitted she provided false testimony in
identifying Bijou Palace as one of the stores selling knockoff products.
"Ortiz alerted Kris Buckner, president of Investigative Consultants, and
lead counsel Janine Garguilo for Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, of the
errors in the investigation reports months before trial, but legal action
still proceeded against the Antounians," says William Salle. During trial

in July 2007, Investigator Buckner testified that he never saw handbags,
wallets or sunglasses or any Louis Vuitton or Dior items for sale at Bijou
Palace. "These were the same items that the Antounians and Bijou Palace
were to have allegedly sold," says Salle.

"We understand the plight of companies as they try to protect their brand
from counterfeiters," says Macias, "but doing as they did in this case is
unjustifiable. Maybe they wanted to send a message to would-be
counterfeiters that they mean business. Instead, Louis Vuitton and
Christian Dior succeeded only in destroying a small business."

Co-counsel representing George and Marijeanne Antounian is also Armen
Shaghzo of the law firm Shaghzo and Shaghzo.

Sean Macias, Esq.
Macias Counsel, Inc.
425 East Colorado Blvd. Suite 710
Glendale, California 91205
Tel: (818) 265-0025
Fax: (818) 265-0035Email Contact
Diane Rumbaugh
Rumbaugh Public Relations
Tel: (805) 493-2877Email Contact

Copyright ? 2008 Marketwire

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