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Levi's claims a cut-price victory.

SUPERMARKET chain Tesco today lost its fight to sell cut-price designer goods in the UK.

Jeans manufacturer Levi Strauss said the European Court of Justice had ruled that goods sourced from outside the EU cannot be imported without the consent of the trademark owner.

If the decision had gone Tesco's way it could have heralded a flood of cutprice designer products bought on the so-called "grey market".

A Levi spokeswoman said: "The court ruled that goods from outside the European economic area cannot be imported without the unequivocable consent of the trademark owner, and we think that is the right decision."

The jeans manufacturer has been is dispute over whether the supermarket chain had been given consent to stock its products.

Tesco believed it was right to sell jeans, such as the popular 501 brand, at discounted priced, while Levi said it had turned the company down as a stockist.

Levi has a policy of only selling its products through selected outlets, arguing that these are chosen for customer service.

Opponents of the system claimed it allowed the company to keep prices artificially high within the UK in comparison with countries outside the EU, such as the United States.

Officials from Tesco were not immediately available for comment.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 20, 2001
Words:208
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