Over the last couple weeks there have been a few fashion law developments. In this exciting profession, money woes and litigation never end, for some reason. We simply can’t seem to all get along!
LV v Warner Bros
Louis Vuitton recently lost its case against Warner Bros for the use of a fake LV in The Hangover Part 2. In 2011 the luxury giant brought a claim for trademark infringement against Warner Bros, because in the film, Zach Galifianakis (while in character) says, “careful, that is a Lewis Vuitton”, while referring to a bag that was not a real LV.
Louis Vuitton felt that consumers would be confused and believe that the fake bag used in the film was an actual “real” LV bag. Judge Andrew L Carter recently held that there was no confusion and Louis Vuitton lost its case. Louis Vuitton issued a statement a couple days ago:
We are deeply disappointed in the court’s decision. We remain committed to protecting our brand, and will remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent in our efforts to prevent inappropriate and misleading use of our trademark for the benefit of our customers.
Louis Vuitton is at the point of reviewing its brand, having been plagued by knock-off artists. It was recently reported that the brand will look to Hermes for inspiration.
Hermes found giant rats eating its cheese
Ok, I am talking figuratively. Hermes found out that many of its employees were involved in producing fake versions of many of its bags. These employees were arrested.
The company told WWD that:
This operation concludes a one-year investigation following an Hermès complaint based on clues and abnormal behaviour identified through the house’s internal monitoring systems. Hermès is very satisfied with the efficient and diligent collaboration established with the national gendarmerie in this case and reiterates its relentless commitment to fighting counterfeiting. This action puts an end to the fraudulent project in progress.
There are allegations that other employees who were not arrested might have been involved in the fake bag ring.
Gucci v Guess
I wrote about this judgment recently, but there are new developments. Essentially, there was an error in the calculation for damages and Gucci will only receive $4.61 million. Judge Scheindlin corrected the errors, leaving, Guess to pay $2.3 million, Mark Fisher to pay $456,183 and handbag licensee, and Signal Products Inc., to pay $1.8 million. The two other licensees named in the case: Max Leather Group/Cipriani Accessories Inc. and Swank Inc., will have to pay the remainder of $25,000.
Prada v MaxMara
The US subsidiary of the Prada brand – Prada USA Corp filed a lawsuit in New York against MaxMara. Prada USA Corp alleges that following “extended negotiations” and execution of an agreement, MaxMara reneged on its binding agreement to assign its lease for a store located in Honolulu to Prada, where it was going to open a Miu Miu boutique.
Prada seeks millions of dollars in damages, including lost profits projected for the planned boutique and all the money spent in reliance on its agreement with MaxMara.
Any fashion law developments you heard of lately? Please share by commenting.