Guess who's in court?
Marking what may be the final chapter in a three year-long legal dispute between Gucci and Guess, the two brands faced off in federal court for the first time yesterday. Gucci sued Guess in 2009 for selling items with “studied imitations of the Gucci trademarks” including a green and red stripe design, a square G, the designer’s name in flowing script and interlocking G’s in a diamond pattern, all details commonly found on Gucci products.
Gucci is not taking things lightly. Louis Ederer, Gucci’s lawyer, called what Guess is doing a "massive, complicated scheme" to knock them off. He says Guess knocked off over $200 million in Gucci product and they're seeking $124 million in damages, Bloomberg reports.
On the other side, Guess' attorney Daniel Petrocelli is arguing that because Gucci waited seven years before suing they can't claim infringement. According to WWD, he also seemed set on convincing the judges on how different the two brands are, saying things like “[Guess] has no reason to be like Gucci and it did not scheme to be like Gucci,” and, “Gucci uses leather, Guess uses plastic.”
It's not the worst point to make--the quality of Gucci products should be on a totally different level from Guess (who are an Adventures in Copyright alum, btw).
This probably isn't the way Guess wanted to ring in 30 years. Who do you think made the best case?
Update: Our friends over at Above the Law, pointed out that the reason why Gucci's case against Guess stalled a few years back was because Gucci's original in-house lawyer had forgotten to renew his bar membership, making him ineligible to practice law. Oops. Armed with a new (fully licensed) lawyer, the design house will no doubt want to make up for lost time now.