We don't know what Louis Vuitton was thinking when it sued Dooney & Burke for copyright infrigement. Oh wait, scratch that. We know exactly what they were thinking... they were thinking they were being ripped off - and not just from some Canal Street vendors - from a big giant handbag company... It's the presiding judge that we don't get!
Ruling in a 4-year legal battle, US District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that Dooney & Bourke's "It Bag" monogram design did not infringe on LVs Monograme Multicolore handbag collection.
The judge's sticking point (albeit one that ran for 54 pages) was not the issue of resemblance - this much she admitted. Rather, whether the mongrams could be confused for each other.
"Even the testimony of Louis Vuitton's director of intellectual property suggests Louis Vuitton's infringement claim is not necessarily premised on a likelihood of confusion between its products and those of [the] defendant, but rather Louis Vuitton's distaste at being associated with the 'It Bags,'" wrote the judge.
"The consumers weren't confused and the court wasn't confused and the experts weren't confused," said Thomas McAndrew, an attorney for Dooney & Bourke. Um, someone tell McAndrew that H&B is confused. It is clearly a ripoff, and Dooney & Bourke should be ashamed - arguing over different sized fonts. Here's a thought - free of charge - come up with an original design! The company has made over $100 million dollars on its "It Bag." Think about that. That's a whole lotta beans for trading on a bag that is so obviously in someone else's name.
Vuitton said it would appeal the case. "Louis Vuitton respectfully disagrees with the judge's decision on the motion," said a spokeswoman. "There are numerous material issues of fact in this case that warrant consideration by a jury."