Louis Vuitton – Food versus Fashion…

Louis Vuitton is one of the world’s largest fashion brands whose trademark LV is famous across the globe. In a recent event, the fashion brand filed a case against “Louis Vuitton Dak” – a South Korean Fried Chicken Restaurant for trademark infringement on the grounds of confusing similarity in the trademarks.

According to the Korean Times – the logo of the chicken restaurant bears a close resemblance to that of original luxury brand – Louis Vuitton’s logo. In September 2015 this case was taken to court alleging the violation of “Unfair competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act”. The subject matter of this Act under the Korean Law includes Competition, Domain Names, Enforcement of IP and Related Laws, Geographical Indications, IP Regulatory Body, Trade Names, Trademarks, Undisclosed Information (Trade Secrets).

As a follow up on the charges against Kim who apparently played around with the Korean word “Tondak” which literally means whole chicken and so chose to name his dish as Loius Vuitton Dak, the district court ordered him to pay $440 per day as damages to the brand name. Notwithstanding the injunction from the court he brought about a slight change in the restaurant’s name to chaLouisvui tondak which according to Kim bore no much resemblance to the French fashion brand.

Louis Vuitton was adamant on change in the name to be brought about and so appealed again and the Seoul Central District Court ordered the restaurant owner to pay close to $12,750 a day to the fashion brand for 29 days that the amended name was displayed.

While the decision in the case is good news to the fashion brand as the decision restores the brands confused image in the Korean market, the misadventure has costed the South Korean restaurant dearly. The restaurant is not only paying in terms of externality cost but also faces the problem of losing some customers because of the case.

Kim, the owner of the restaurant has seemed to have been oblivious to the presence of such an international brand in the market whose image the restaurant could have tarnished. But this is only one of the many defenses that are usually taken up by trademark infringers. Well, Louis vuitton after the decision in this case is most likely to agree with the saying that ‘Food is good but Fashion is the measure of passion’ .

Authored by Gopika Sandes

Reference – Here