Gucci Awarded $4.7M in Trademark Case Against Guess
May 22, 2012 - by Lester Brathwaite
The three-year court battle between Gucci and Guess has come to an end, for now, with Judge Shira Scheindlin ruling in favor of Gucci. The PPR-held Italian luxury brand, however, only received a small fraction of the $221 million it had originally claimed.
Gucci filed suit in 2009, alleging that Guess and its footwear licensee Marc Fisher Footwear had used studied imitations of Gucci trademarks -- including the block letter G, a combination of red-and-green stripes and diamond-logo motifs -- and "knocked off" more than $200 million in product.
Judge Scheindlin found that Fisher's use of the red-and-green stripes was identical to Gucci and therefore likely to cause "trademark dilution," i.e. cheapen Gucci's image. The judge, however, denied Gucci's counterfeiting claims, stating courts have uniformly restricted trademark counterfeiting claims to those situations where entire products have been copied stitch-for-stitch.
Gucci was awarded $4.7 million in combined damages from Guess and Marc Fisher for their use of the Quatro G pattern. Gucci was also granted an injunction against Guess, barring them from using the Quatro G pattern, the green-red-green stripe and certain other square G marks.
Whether this ruling will have any bearing on the trademark infringement case involving Christian Louboutin's red sole debacle with that other PPR brand Yves Saint Laurent is yet to be seen. But for Guess CEO, Paul Marciano, the Gucci v. Guess case should've been resolved by the two companies and not the court.
In a statement issued yesterday, Marciano hinted that the battle might not be over as Gucci is "currently court-forum shopping to find a friendly court but Guess will vigorously defend our rights in every jurisdiction." [WWD, sub req'd]