French luxury fashion retailer Louis Vuitton (LV) is suing two subsidiaries of China’s shoe giant, Belle International, for copyright infringement over the design of a pair of HK$8,950 (US$1,140) trainers, a court filing revealed on Friday. The High Court document said Louis Vuitton Malletier accused Belle International (China) and Best Able Footwear, both incorporated in Hong Kong, of selling since July 24 last year a product that copied a substantial part of its product from spring and summer 2018 – the LV Archlight trainers. The fashion label asked the court to ban further infringements and for the products to be removed from shops and the companies’ platforms. It also told the court to order the products to be handed over or destroyed. LV also asked for an unspecified sum of damages to be determined. Hong Kong Harry Potter-themed cafe sued for copyright infringement by Warner Bros Formerly listed in Hong Kong, Belle International runs an array of retail chains across Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China, including Staccato, Joy & Peace and Jipi Japa, mainly targeting the women’s market. The conglomerate, headquartered in Shenzhen and privatised in 2017, also distributed various sports brands from Nike to Adidas. Friday’s court filing said LV had acquired a “substantial and distinctive reputation and goodwill” for their trainers in Hong Kong and throughout the world, so people would associate the trainers exclusively with the French brand. Hong Kong copyright law would ‘respect freedom of expression’, official says But since at least July 24 last year, the two firms LV was suing had been copying and reproducing something similar without its licence and selling them to the public, according to the writ. It also spoke of the firms’ knowledge, saying that they knew and had reasons “to believe the defendants’ trainers were infringing copies of the LV trainers”. By selling those products, the two Hong Kong-registered firms had damaged the French brand’s goodwill and business, it said. A trial day has yet to be scheduled, according the judiciary website.