Six months ago, Louis Vuitton filed suit against The Hangover 2 for a scene in which Zach Galifianakis’ character says of his ‘LVM’-emblazoned bag, “Careful, that is a Louis Vuitton,” when of course, it’s a fake.
The bag in question was in fact produced by Diophy, a group of U.S. and Chinese companies peddling knockoffs, which Vuitton successfully won suit against in 2010. Using it in the movie, Vuitton claimed, would cause “consumer confusion,” and the luxury brand wanted some serious payback–profits from Hangover 2, triple damages, and the destruction of all copies of The Hangover Part II, to be exact. But fans of the film fear not: A judge threw out the case yesterday, calling Vuitton’s allegations “not plausible” or “particularly compelling,” according to WWD.
“Louis Vuitton is trying to have it both ways,” presiding Judge Carter said. “Arguing that the Diophy bags are so similar as to create consumer confusion but at the same time so obviously dissimilar that someone watching the film would notice the slightly different symbols used on the Diophy bag.” He added that the bag only appeared on the screen for a matter of seconds and is not the main focus.
Besides, no fashion lover or potential Vuitton consumer could possibly be confused by the botched monogram, and the way Galifianakis totally mispronounces the brand’s name. It is, without a doubt, a fake.
Louis Vuitton, however, disagrees. “We are deeply disappointed in the court’s decision,” the French company told WWD. “We remain committed to protecting our brand, and will remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent inappropriate and misleading use of our trademark for the benefit of our customers.”
And let that be a warning to all producers and screenplay writers…