Another Hangover (2)

We wrote a post earlier about Louis Vuitton’s law suit against Warner Brothers Entertainment, regarding the movie The Hangover: Part II. The luxury handbag maker claimed the use of a counterfeit Louis Vuitton bag in the movie constituted trademark infringement.

One of the characters in the film has the line “Careful … that is a Louis Vuitton”. Louis Vuitton claimed this would confuse consumers as to the source of the product and that mistaken association would tarnish the company’s trademarks.

Moreover, the bag used in the movie was a fake product, from a company against which Vuitton filed a law suit earlier.

The US District Court was, however, unimpressed with Vuitton’s arguments. He ruled that there was no likelihood that moviegoers would think the fake was a real bag just because a character in the film said it was. He also said that the character mispronounced the company name, saying “Lewis” Vuitton.

The character’s mispronunciation is a comic element in the film, adding to his image as “a socially inept and comically misinformed character,” the judge said. He found that this put the film’s use of the bag and trade name into the realm of artistic expression permitted under the First Amendment.

Also, it is considered “highly unlikely” that an appreciable number of moviegoers would even notice the bag was a knock-off.

All in all, another hangover for Lewis, eh… Louis Vuitton.

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Knijff Merkenadviseurs


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