The legal drama in the fashion world never ends!
The luxury fashion house retaliated by officially filing a grievance at a NY federal court this past Thursday, in hopes the judge sides with a verdict made by Judge Castel three weeks ago in a similar trademark infringement case against Hyundai.The similar trademark infringement occurred in a Superbowl 30 second spot which featured an LV inspired monogrammed basketball. Although the basketball was shown on camera for literally a second, it was long enough for the judge to rule in favor of the fashion house, ordering the Japanese automotive company to pay damages.
In the ruling, Judge Castel ruled in favor of the fashion line and said:
"The component elements of the Louis Vuitton Toile Monogram, and their overall effect, are virtually indistinguishable from Hyundai's stylized basketball design. Indeed, the brevity of the basketball's appearance in the 'Luxury' ad, totaling approximately one second, renders it more difficult to assess the minor differences between the Louis Vuitton marks and Hyundai's alterations. This similarity was intended by Hyundai."
He also concluded that because of the close similarity, a sophisticated consumer could easily assume the design in the commercial originated with Vuitton and rejected the automaker's First Amendment defense grounded on its argument the social implication was too broad.
A spokesperson for LV released a statement about the monumental decision and warned other copycats:
"As Judge Castel recently ruled in Louis Vuitton v. Hyundai, Louis Vuitton's 'aggressive' enforcement of its trademark rights and prompt action against those who misuse its trademarks are necessary concomitants of its exclusive rights in the brand."
Louis V is demanding that the studio delete the scene from any future releases AND that they receive a split of the film’s profits.
The studio continues to defend its right to use the luggage in the movie claiming the luggage was “artistically relevant” to the film and if there was ever any confusion it was only minor and is the responsibility of the company which produced the knockoff.
Like Hyundai, WB is also citing their First Amendment rights to reference trademarks.
Good luck with that!
Judging by LV's past history we're not surprised that this is turning out to be such a legal battle but seriously, isn't all this free press helping the line?!!
What do U think about this all? Is LV overacting?!!
[Image courtesy of Warner Bros.]