Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dog Of A Case

Honoring our visit to the Fourth Circuit, here’s a link to that Court’s decision in Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. v. Haute Diggity Dog, LLC, 4th Cir. No. 06-2267. The defendant makes a dog toy that looks like Louis Vuitton handbags and calls it the “Chewy Vuiton.” There is no cause of action for bad spelling or infuriating punnery, so Louis Vuitton sued and claimed trademark infringement. And surprisingly, given the facts and the legal talent it employed, Louis Vuitton lost.

The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court’s summary judgment determination that the dog toy did not impair the distinctiveness of Louis Vuitton’s trademark. This seems incorrect for a variety of profound reasons. Don’t be surprised if you see this case pop up again.

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