Magazine article Drug Topics

Fragrance Diversion Lawsuit Turning into a Big One

Magazine article Drug Topics

Fragrance Diversion Lawsuit Turning into a Big One

Article excerpt

What appeared at first to be a minor incident may now set the stage for the future of the diverted-fragrance market.

During the summer of 1992, Drug Emporium was slapped with a copyright infringement suit involving Parfums Givenchy's Amarige fragrance. At that time, Gary Wilber, then chairman, said it was not a big-selling fragrance and he didn't expect a big deal.

However, a federal district court in Los Angeles (where the fragrance was found in a Drug Emporium) ruled in favor of Givenchy, thus opening up the floodgates for other prestige manufacturers to initiate legal action that could dry up the diverted-fragrance pipeline. Diversion fragrances have become a huge business for drugstores, accounting for as much as 10% to 15% of volume.

A Drug Emporium lawyer said the chain is ready to go to the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling. "This is an important test case on the rights of retailers," he said.

The ruling was that Drug Emporium violated federal law by selling Amarige in a box that Givenchy copyrighted last year. …

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