Gucci Loses its 4 Year Legal Battle Against Guess in Italy and Also Loses 7
Trademark Registrations in Europe
LOS ANGELES, May 3, 2013
LOS ANGELES, May 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --The second chapter of the trademark
dispute between Gucci and GUESS (NYSE: GES)concluded in Italy on May 2nd,
2013 after the Court of Milan, in an 83 page ruling, rejected all claims
brought by the Florentine-based label against GUESS. Moreover, the Italian
Court has ordered the cancellation of certain of Gucci's diamond pattern, G
logo, and "Flora" pattern trademarks. The cancelled registrations included 3
Italian trademarks and 4 trademarks covering the European Community. The Court
has also rejected Gucci's rights in a "Square G" logo.
In 2009, along with a similar action in New York, Gucci filed suit against
GUESS in Milan, the fashion capital of Europe. Subsequent actions were filed
in Paris and Nanjing, China. The logos in the Milan dispute were similar to
those in New York as were the claims, which included trademark infringement,
counterfeiting and unfair competition. The New York case ended in 2012, with
Gucci receiving minimal monetary damages and narrow injunctions on a handful
of logos. Now, the Court in Milan has totally rejected all of Gucci's claims.
The Milan verdict is an important decision and judgment, not only because it
has been issued in Italy, the birthplace of the Gucci brand, but also because
the Court agreed with GUESS in practically all its principal arguments, ruling
that the diamond pattern and floral motifs are common in the world of fashion
and, in particular, that the popular GUESS Quattro G logo pattern (also with a
single G in the corner of the diamond) has "nothing to do" with Gucci's
interlocking double G pattern, one of the principal claims made by Gucci.
The judgment also confirmed one of the key pillars of the GUESS defense,
previously expressed in the New York trial, that there is no foundation to
Gucci's accusation that GUESS was trying to "Gucci-ize" its brand or
attempting to confuse customers and dilute the Gucci brand.
Paul Marciano expressed his total satisfaction with the decision, which
vindicates the GUESS position and reconfirms his belief that Gucci grossly
overreached in its claims. "The Italian Court in Milan ruled today against
each and every single claim that Gucci filed against Guess 4 years ago. In the
same ruling the Court invalidated some of Gucci's trademark registrations,
including the floral print and diamond G logos. GUESS intends to continue to
vigorously defend its trademark rights," said Paul Marciano, CEO of GUESS. He
continued, "The tactics of Gucci are nothing less than bullying. 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. There are global trends that Gucci
itself follows as anyone does in fashion; they are no different from GUESS in
that regard." Mr. Marciano added, "In my opinion, the 3 year battle in New
York and 4 years in Milan was a result of massive and unnecessary litigation
that should have been easily resolved with a simple phone call, which Gucci
The Italian Court, reiterating "the remarkable notoriety of the GUESS
trademarks," has definitively rejected the possibility that any likelihood of
confusion could exist, even hypothetically, between the products and the
trademarks of Gucci and those of GUESS.
ABOUT GUESS?, INC.
Established in 1981, GUESS began as a denim company and has since successfully
grown into a global lifestyle brand. Today, GUESS designs, markets and
distributes full collections of women's, men's and children's apparel as well
as accessories. Throughout the years, the GUESS image has been portrayed in
unforgettable, innovative campaigns that have made the brand a household name.
GUESS is distributed throughout the world in fine department and specialty
stores, its retail and factory stores, and on its online store www.GUESS.com.
GUESS has licensees and distributors in South America, Europe, Asia, Africa,
Australia, and the Middle East. In addition to shopping online, you can find
more information on GUESS at www.guess.com.
SOURCE Guess?, Inc.
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