Reuters Louis Vuitton has lost the first stage of an attempt to protect its trade mark in New York. The French company has failed in its bid to get an injunction stopping American bag manufacturer Dooney & Bourke using a DB logo in bright colours on black and white handbags. Louis Vuitton had launched a similar range of luggage in October 2002 bearing its LV logo. US District Judge Shira Scheindlin said, in delivering her ruling:
"Louis Vuitton created a new look and now seeks to preclude others from following its lead …If Louis Vuitton succeeds, then it will have used the law to achieve an unwarranted anticompetitive result ... the objective of trademark law is not to harm competition."The judge found that no evidence of confusion among actual consumers had been shown and there were substantial differences between the two bags that would enable consumers to tell them apart. However, Louis Vuitton can still proceed to trial or appeal the judge’s decision on the injunction.
This case strongly reminds the IPKat of the UK Roho passing off case. In both cases the principle is, if there’s no confusion then free competition must be allowed to continue, even if the defendant has copied the originator of the design.
Got the real thing? How to feed it here
Take advantage of the court’s decision and make your own Louis Vuitton bag here
How to tell if someone’s make his/her own Louis Vuitton bag here