La Vittoria Agrodolce

By Sara Alexandre [November 25th, 2012] 

Gucci v. Guess

Gucci sought $120 million in Guess Trademark Infringement lawsuit, and is awarded $4.7 million.

Gucci may have won, but it’s Guess that’s jumping for joy.  In the culmination of a three year old legal battle, a U.S. judge gave Gucci a multi-million dollar award, and a permanent injunction against Guess’ use of three of the four challenged designs.  So, why no parade of “v” shaped fingers at the House of Gucci? The rub is that Gucci was seeking 120 million big ones, and the $4.66 million they ultimately got is just a wee bit less than that.

Gucci had accused Guess of trying to “Gucci-ize” its product line by selling wallets, belts, shoes and other items whose designs copied or mimicked its own. It claimed that this confused customers and diluted its brand.

Gucci targeted Guess’ use of green-red-green stripes, a stylized “Square G,” a group of four interlocking “G”s known as a “Quattro G,” and a script logo.  These designs, alleged Gucci, were Guess’ attempt at trying to “Gucci-ize” its product line, diluted Gucci’s long established trademarks, and caused consumer confusion. For the most part, the court agreed with Gucci, and all but the last of these designs were covered by the injunction.

However, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin said that, while Guess was accountable for infringing on some trademarks, Gucci was only entitled to the profit Guess amassed from specific items where Gucci trademarks were infringed.  Further, Gucci would not receive damages reflecting lost sales or harm to its brand, with the Judge calling an analysis from Gucci’s damages expert “highly speculative.”

 Although counsel from the Gucci were not immediately available for comment, Paul Marciano, CEO of Guess, released a statement reflecting his patent joy with the lawsuit’s outcome, “Overall, we are extremely satisfied and vindicated that this case should have never been filed.”

Sometimes you win some, and sometimes losing can feel like winning too.


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