By Chris Round
In a decision of the Federal Court in October 2015 concerning trademarks affixed to Chinese herbal teas, the Federal Court of Australia awarded additional damages to an applicant in circumstances where the evidence required to prove compensatory damages was not available.
In Truong Giang Corporation v Quach  FCA 1097, the applicant Truong Giang Corporation (TG Corp) is a Californian company that produces a green leaf herbal tea product which it sells under the name “3 Ballerina Tea”. It has sold that product in the United States since 1991 and in Australia since 1994, in distinctive dark green packaging which, amongst other things, features a prominent device or mark. In this proceeding TG Corp claimed that the respondents Mr Quach, New Leaf and Mr Alexandrou were involved in selling relatively large quantities of a tea product packaged in a deceptively similar way to the genuine 3 Ballerina Tea. Since 2006, TG Corp through its agents sold substantial quantities of 3 Ballerina Tea throughout Australia, mainly through Asian supermarkets and health food stores.