By Rene Dial
I have heard a lot of on the edge lawsuits before but I believe this one has jumped over the edge and landed on its head. According to the Guardian.co.uk, Louis Vuitton filed a federal trademark suit against Warner Bros over the line in the Hangover II “careful, that is a Louis Vuitton.” To be honest I saw the movie, my brother and brother in law saw the movie and at no point in time have I heard them or any of my friends use that tag line. To give a little background, our group of friends, quote movie tag lines a lot. So much that it can become quite annoying at times. The main comment and the funniest and most disturbing parts of the movie is trying to figure out what the monkey is playing with towards the beginning. I will spare you and not go into details.
I was able to locate a copy of the complaint at paidcontent.org.
One of the first allegations that jumps out is Louis Vuitton’s claim that they did not approve Warner Bros’ use of any products bearing the LVM marks or any products bearing knock-off monograms. It is a scary thought to think that every time someone wears a pair of jeans, shoes, socks, or virtually every item used in life then used in a movie the company can be sued because the item was not approved prior to the movie.
Louis Vuitton can make an argument that Warner Bros’ directly used the name of the bag in the movie. If the entire movie was about a Louis Vuitton bag and it was the notoriety of the bag that drew crowds to the theater to see the movie and Warner Bros’ profited by their use of the mark we would have a different situation. This is not the case here. The mention of the bag is no more than a parody. Are they making fun of the bag that it is so delicate and expensive or are they making fun of the character by showcasing his eccentric character.
Louis Vuitton’s fight is with Diophy not Warner Bros’. If anything Louis Vuitton should have paid to have their bag featured as a tag line in the movie or have Warner Bros’ buy a LV bag to compensate them for the lost profits of the one bag. That kind of advertising is expensive. Look at all of the advertising that they are getting by filing this lawsuit albeit bad advertising but still advertisement. Makes you wonder if hiring an attorney, filing a complaint for around $400.00, and making a fuss gets you hundred of thousands of dollars in advertising?
Have a safe and happy New Year and let’s make 2012 the best year ever.
Be safe tonight!!