Gucci and Guess: Trademark Dispute Essay
Gucci and Guess: Trademark Dispute, 501 words essay example
The Court of Paris has ruled in favour of Guess in the latest lawsuit brought by Gucci for alleged infringement of some of its trademarks. Gucci claimed that Guess was infringing its rights by selling wallets, belts, and other products whose designs copied or mimicked its own. This dispute began in 2009, when Gucci sued Guess, stating that it engaged in "a sophisticated and elaborate scheme ... to target Gucci, to create products that are similar in appearance to the most popular and best-known Gucci products, and trade upon the goodwill and reputation associated with Gucci and its high-quality, distinctive product lines." Proceeding under both federal and state law, Gucci seeks a permanent injunction preventing Guess from using the allegedly infringing marks, monetary relief (including actual damages, statutory damages, and an accounting of profits) and destruction of all allegedly infringing products on the basis of the following claims
Gucci claimed 55 million (about $62 million) in damages, which the court denied and instead the fashion company was ordered to pay Guess 30,000 (about $34,000). The court also nullified Gucci's trademark of three of its "G" logos. According to a statement made by a representative for Gucci, they will bring an appeal against the decision. On the one hand, the cancelling of Gucci's trademarks has affected Gucci negatively, as anyone will be able to use a G logo in any of these signature patterns. The brand described Guess's now-permitted use of G-based logos as "unlawful and parasitic free-riding on Gucci's trademark and, in general, its brand image."
Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark (or a substantially similar mark) on competing or related goods and services. The success of a lawsuit to stop the infringement turns on whether the defendant's use causes a likelihood of confusion in the average consumer. If a party owns the rights to a particular trademark, that party can sue subsequent parties for trademark infringement. The standard is "likelihood of confusion." To be more specific, the use of a trademark in connection with the sale of a good constitutes infringement if it is likely to cause consumer confusion as to the source of those goods or as to the sponsorship or approval of such goods. In deciding whether consumers are likely to be
The Court of Paris rejected each of Gucci's claims of trademark infringement, counterfeiting and unfair competition. Gucci's request for 55 million Euros in damages was denied and, instead, Gucci was ordered to pay Guess 30,000 Euros. In addition, the court invalidated three of Gucci's "G" European Community and international trademarks, so that the Italian label can no longer claim exclusive use of those trademarks. The suit forms part of a series of similar trademark challenges between Gucci and Guess that have been playing out in the international courts since the first suit was filed by Gucci in 2009. Rulings have been handed down on both sides, to date in China, the United States and Italy, as well as in France.