Fashion Law: Louis Vuitton Denied Appeal to Trademark Damier Pattern
The fashion industry has been plagued with various trademark infringement cases recently—from Isabel Marant and Adidas to Marc Jacobs and Adidas, the industry is certainly no stranger to trademark and copyright brawls in court. Most recently, Louis Vuitton has been denied the opportunity to trademark its Damier checkerboard pattern, very often seen on LV clothes, handbags and wallets, among other accessory items.
This decision, repudiated by the European Union’s General Court, upheld a prior ruling by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) that rejected the fashion houses request to own the design. The OHIM’s decision stemmed from their feelings that the design was too commonplace for it to be owned by a singular brand.
Back in 2011, the OHIM stated that, “The checkerboard pattern, as represented in the contested trademark, was a basic and banal feature composted of very simple elements and that it was well-known that that feature had been commonly used with a decorative purpose in relation to various goods.”
Furthermore, OHIM added that “the contested trademark, in the absence of features capable of distinguishing it from other representations of checkerboards, was not capable of fulfilling the essential ‘identification’ or ‘origin’ function of a trademark.”
Louis Vuitton has yet to declare if they plan to appeal the decision.