LVMH Trademark Cases Reach Settlements

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton concluded two separate settlement agreements for trademark infringement last week.

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton concluded two separate settlement agreements for trademark infringement last week.

This story first appeared in the December 17, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Louis Vuitton Malletier and Marc Jacobs Trademarks resolved a dispute with Burlington Coat Factory over the alleged infringement of its Monogram Multicolore (with the 33 Murakami colors) and “s-lock” handbag designs. The financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Burlington Coat Factory was not immediately available for comment.

The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court in April 2004 against Burlington Coat Factory and a supplier from California called G & L Handbags Co., doing business as Four Seasons, for trademark infringement and counterfeiting. A second supplier, Industech International Inc., was later added to the complaint.

Louis Vuitton Malletier reached a settlement with G & L Handbags and a consent judgment with Industech in mid-November. Financial settlements reached in those agreements were also not disclosed.

According to Nathalie Moulle-Berteaux, intellectual property director of LVMH Fashion Group, which represents both Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs, the lawsuit involved both exact copies of the brand’s handbags and “look-alike” bags. The trademarks that were involved are among the luxury group’s most famous, she said, making it a particularly important case.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement Burlington Coat Factory is permanently restricted from infringing on Louis Vuitton’s intellectual property.

“We are very pleased to have successfully resolved this matter in a manner that protects our brands and customers. We appreciate Burlington Coat Factory’s commitment to respect our intellectual property and their agreement to avoid actions that violate or infringe upon our trademarks and copyrights in the future, including educating their buyers about how to avoid purchasing infringing products,” said Moulle-Berteaux in a statement made available to WWD.

Separately, Louis Vuitton Malletier SA, a French subsidiary of the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton group, announced a settlement agreement with DVS Shoe Co. Inc., which does business as Podium Distribution. The company manufactures skateboards, footwear and sweatshirts.

According to Louis Vuitton, the matter involved the alleged infringement of its registered traditional toile monogram and the Murakami Multicolore trademarks and copyrights for sandals, slip-on shoes, athletic shoes, T-shirts, sweatshirts, caps and graphic kits. DVS agreed to stop manufacturing the allegedly infringing merchandise, according to Louis Vuitton.