European multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton’s parent company) lost a number of trade mark lawsuits against American accessories brand My Other Bag founded in 2012 by Tara Martin. My Other Bag prints animations inspired by iconic handbag designs on canvas tote bags which sell for approximately £30 to £45. Louis Vuitton handbags by contrast sell for approximately £2,300 to £6,200.
The trade mark lawsuits between LVMH and My Other Bag started in 2014 when LVMH filed numerous claims for trade mark dilution, violation of fair use, dilution by blurring, trade mark infringement and copyright infringement against My Other Bag over its use of Louis Vuitton’s infamous Monogram and Damier product range. LVMH lost the actions for the following reasons: lack of market proximity between the products and unconvincing evidence of consumer confusion. In 2016 the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling that My Other Bag’s use of Louis Vuitton’s trademark could be classed as parody.
LVMH now looks set on taking the trade mark infringement claim to the US Supreme Court on appeal after My Other Bag asked the courts to make LVMH pay its legal fees of almost $1m.