Just about one year ago--following a three-year legal battle--the mass clothing brand was ordered by New York courts to pay Gucci $4.7 million, which was actually pretty paltry compared to the $221 million Gucci had originally asked for. And though Gucci had still won, a counterclaim filed by Guess back in 2009 had yet to be settled. In the counterclaim, Guess sought to have three of Gucci's registered trademarks nullified in Milan--and it won.
An Italian court ruled Friday that Gucci's diamond pattern, G logo and “Flora” pattern trademarks had been cancelled, and that Guess’s Quattro G-diamond pattern was not derived from Gucci's double-G, WWD reports.
The canceling of Gucci's trademarks is a pretty big deal, as it means that anyone can use a G logo in any of these signature patterns. Unsurprisingly, Gucci is not pleased. The brand described Guess's now-permitted use of G-based logos as “unlawful and parasitic free-riding on Gucci’s trademark and, in general, its brand image.” Gucci plans to file an appeal, calling the court's decision "potentially dangerous for the protection of ‘Made in Italy.’"
Paul Marciano, CEO of Guess, said the ongoing legal battle could have been resolved by a simple phone call and that Gucci's tactics have been "nothing less than bullying." He continued, "Because of their endless resources, Gucci has been forum shopping all over the world to try and stop Guess from expanding its successful accessories business. It’s fundamentally wrong and unconscionable."
Gucci still has ongoing suits against Guess in China and France. So, needless to say, it's far from over. And both parties are playing hard ball.
What do you think of the Italian court's decision to side with Guess?