Louis Vuitton wins $32.4 million in damages from Web host over knock-offs

In a startling legal verdict that could send chills through the American Internet service provider industry, a California jury has awarded Louis Vuitton, the signature division of worldwide luxury titan LVMH, $32.4 million in damages in a key test of ISP liability in Web counterfeiting.

A federal district court jury found California-based ISP Akanoc Solutions, and an individual named Steven Chen, liable for "contributory trademark and copyright infringement." The defendants' ISP hosted websites peddling LV knockoffs. Louis Vuitton argued that Akanoc should have known that the infringing sites were selling fake LV merchandise.