Bookmark and Share



» Access to Courts and Court Remedies

» Campaign Finance and Election Laws

» Constitutional Rights and Requirements

» Health, Safety, and Environment

» Open Government and Open Courts

» Representing Consumers

» Workers' Rights

Currently Featured Topics

Government Transparency
Consumer Justice
First Amendment
Health, Safety and the Environment


Read about our work helping lawyers
with cases in the Supreme Court.


  Public Citizen | Litigation Cases ***Search other cases***

Louis Vuitton Malletier v. My Other Bag, Inc.

Topic(s): Internet Free Speech - Use of Brand Names in Domain Names and Metatags



The fashion giant sued a one-woman company whose product, a tote bag, poked fun at Louis Vuitton’s famous handbag by scrawling the words “My Other Bag” on one side of the tote and displaying an altered version of the famous Louis Vuitton pattern, altered to replace LV with MOB, on the other.  Louis Vuitton claimed trademark dilution, trademark infringement, and copyright infringement; the case was dismissed on a motion for summary judgment, which was summarily affirmed on appeal, but not until the defendant’s lawyers had run up roughly $700,000 in billable attorney fees.  Public Citizen entered the case after summary judgment was granted to argue that the court should abandon the previously governing appellate precedent requiring a finding of bad faith before a trademark plaintiff can be held liable for the defendant’s attorney fees, following instead the precedent set in a Supreme Court decision holding that identical language providing for fees in patent cases does not require a showing of bad faith.  We argue that the lawsuit was patently groundless, that this big company had sued  in the expectation that a small company could not afford to defend itself, and that Louis Vuitton’s history of trademark bullying further supports an attorney fee award in this case.  Following the appeal, we have refiled the application for an award of attorney fees.

Copyright © 2017 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.


To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.