By  on June 2, 2005

PARIS — Designer Kenzo Takada reached an 11th-hour, out-of-court settlement Wednesday with LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton in connection with a dispute over the rights to the use of the Kenzo Takada name.

The civil court here had been due to render its decision Wednesday. "A settlement has been reached between both parties, but the terms of the agreement are confidential," said Joelle Aknin, attorney for LVMH.

The Japanese designer filed a lawsuit with the civil court here in February alleging that LVMH, owner of Kenzo SA since 1993, had no right to use the brand name Kenzo Takada in any language. In December 2000, Takada tried to copyright the name Kenzo Takada in Chinese characters in Japan, but couldn't, as Kenzo SA had already used the name on several of its products there. Kenzo Takada claimed that the right to use his first and last names had reverted to him in 1996.

However, LVMH maintained that Takada had only been given the right to use his full name in Latin letters under particular circumstances.

Takada attorney Celine Degoulet confirmed a settlement had been reached, but declined to comment on the terms of the agreement.

Four years ago, Takada retired from his namesake house only to return last year with a fashion and lifestyle label called Gokan Kobo. Since its launch, the designer added swimwear to the collection and teamed up with French mail-order giant 3 Suisses to design an affordable Gokan Kobo line. Plans to open the first Gokan Kobo boutique on the Rue Saint-Honore are in the works.

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