It’s the battle of the G’s. Gucci, the Italian luxury brand known for its leather goods and Guess, known for its Los Angeles roots and vast denim offering, are going head to head in court over guess what? Infringement. Gucci is claiming the Guess products infringe on their trademarked designs, thereby confusing consumers.
In 2009, Gucci sued Guess stating the brand was selling items that are “studied imitations of the Gucci trademarks.” More specifically, the claims target the green and red stripe design, a square “G,” the designer’s name in script and a diamond pattern consisting of repetitive interlocking “G’s.”
According to the Bloomberg report, $221 million worth of Guess products are in question and as told by Louis Ederer, the lawyer representing Gucci, “it’s about a massive, complicated scheme to knock off Gucci’s best-known and iconic designs.”
Guess’s rebuttal, as noted in Daniel Petrocelli’s (a lawyer for Guess) opening remarks – of the 1,495 Guess products in question, 99 percent of them “could never be confused with Gucci.” Furthermore, Guess counters by stating Gucci’s infringement claims are without merit because the company “sat on its rights” for at least seven years before suing and Gucci also failed to prove how consumers were misled by the designs.
The consumer who is buying a Gucci bag is not the same consumer buying a Guess bag. This goes for belts, wallets, shoes and other items bearing the similar logos. The price difference is a huge deciding factor. We’re talking two very different consumers here. The similarities are uncanny and the inspiration behind the Guess items bearing the Gucci-ish look is questionable. However, this entire statement can be twisted to favor or hurt either party. Obviously this is the reason the case is in court.
The outcomes of Gucci v. Guess along with a similar case, Christian Louboutin v. Yves Saint Laurent and the battle over the red bottom shoe, may set the standard for designers and brands worldwide in regards to the definition of infringement in the fashion industry.
What do you think?