Louis Vuitton is a well-known luxury fashion retailer that sells products all around the globe. As with any luxury product, there are other entities who are selling knock-offs to unsuspecting California residents. When this happens, they can be held liable for trademark infringement.
What is trademark infringement?
Trademarks are symbols, phrases, words and designs that distinguish one entity or individual from another. Considered intellectual property under the law, each trademark’s use must be authorized by its owner. Trademark infringement happens when an unauthorized party uses another’s trademark without their permission. This causes deception and confusion among buyers of the goods that have the unauthorized trademark.
A clear-cut case of trademark infringement
Louis Vuitton has been in the news due to its legal battles over trademark infringement. In 2006, the company discovered that various websites were selling knock-off goods using Louis Vuitton’s trademarks and copyrighted images. In an effort to hold all parties liable, lawyers representing the luxury fashion retailer identified the IP addresses the websites were hosted on.
After tracking down the IP addresses, they found the providers of the web hosting. They sent various notices to these web hosting companies explaining how the websites were infringing upon Louis Vuitton’s rights. In these letters, it was requested that they force the owner to shut down their websites. Unfortunately, neither hosting provider took action regarding these requests. After a trial, both hosting providers were found to have participated in trademark infringement.
Trademarks and other types of intellectual property are often a company’s most valuable assets. Businesses that believe that another entity has been using them without permission may want to have the assistance of an experienced attorney.
The same is true if you have been accused of trademark infringement. Some use of another’s trademark may not be infringement. An experienced attorney can protect your rights if you are accused of trademark infringement.