March 1, 2019
Monday: Louis Vuitton Should Focus on Its Own Business, Not Bully Small Businesses by Making Weak Trademark Claims
The Paris-Based Designer Has a History of Filing Baseless Trademark Lawsuits
WHAT: A Public Citizen attorney will argue in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that a famous fashion designer should pay legal fees for a small business that it wrongfully sued for trademark and copyright infringement.
A federal court in New York dismissed in 2016 a lawsuit brought by the company Louis Vuitton Malletier against a small business called My Other Bag, which produced a line of canvas totes that parody the handbag design by placing on one side the hand-scrawled words “My Other Bag…” and on the other side a parody version of the Louis Vuitton “toile” design in which the letters “LV” are replaced by “MOB.” The court of appeals affirmed, agreeing that the parody was obvious.
My Other Bag then asked the district court to require Louis Vuitton to pay My Other Bag’s legal fees and costs, which totaled $800,000 – more than the entire revenues for the one-woman company. The Paris-based designer has a history of bringing and threatening weak lawsuits that bully smaller companies into either surrendering or spending large sums on litigation.
“Louis Vuitton’s pattern of suing its detractors on weak trademark and copyright grounds will not end until the courts impose awards of attorney fees for small companies that endure the litigation and emerge victorious,” said Paul Alan Levy, the Public Citizen attorney representing My Other Bag.
Levy will argue that the district court failed to apply the case law properly when it denied the request for an award of attorney fees in a case of clear parody.
WHEN: 10 a.m. EST, Monday, March 4
WHO: Paul Alan Levy, the Public Citizen attorney representing My Other Bag
WHERE: Room 1703, Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse 40 Foley Square, New York, N.Y.