Fashion, Features

Louis Vuitton Versus the World

By Lindsay Cooper Louis Vuitton has had poor luck with their trade-marked accessories as of late. Earlier this year, the famous monogrammed tote company faced off against Los Angeles brand, My Other Bag. Known for their screen printed canvas tote bags, My Other Bag pastes decals of sketches of iconic bag silhouettes on their cotton canvas totes with the aim of creating a stylish alternative to reusable bags. While parodying bags from Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Céline is their foray, MOB also offers original designs on their bags and t-shirts. While LVMH looked to have a solid case against MOB, the court ultimately ruled that there was no violation of the LV trademark, as My Other Bag’s products are clearly parodies. The judge in the case, Jesse M. Furman justified the ruling by stating “Louis Vuitton is, by its own description, an ‘active and aggressive’ enforcer of its trademark rights. In some cases, however, it is better to ‘accept the implied compliment in [a] parody’ and to smile or laugh than it is to sue. MOB’s use of Louis Vuitton’s marks in service of what is an obvious attempt at humor is not likely to cause confusion or the blurring of the distinctiveness of Louis Vuitton’s marks; if anything, it is likely only to reinforce and enhance the distinctiveness and notoriety of the famous brand.” Louis Vuitton has heard many similar verdicts, most notably when the copyright of their Damier checkerboard pattern was revoked in 2011 and again when they tried to appeal the court’s decision last year. While the brown on brown Damier patterns is undoubtedly a Louis Vuitton signature (which is the reason Louis Vuitton was allowed their trademark in 2008), the court ruled that the pattern is lacks too many details to distinguish it from other checkerboard patterns. For the meantime, it looks as though there will be no shortage of non-Vuitton checkerboards and monograms in our closets. Image Credit: My Other Bag.

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