Twice Bitten: Louis Vuitton v. Haute Diggity Dog
Remember last year's dogfight between scrappy startup Haute Diggity Dog and pedigreed champion Louis Vuitton Malletier? It turns out that not only did the trial court rule that the "Chewy Vuiton" [sic] squeaky toys were a protected parody, but the U.S. Court of Appeal for the 4th Circuit agrees (albeit with somewhat different reasoning).
Pamela Reeder, co-founder with Victoria Dauernheim of Haute Diggity Dog, was kind enough to take a break from celebrating and not only send Counterfeit Chic the much-anticipated appellate decision, but also share some fascinating details and personal observations about her brush with the law. I'm almost sleep-typing at the moment, so to do the story justice I'll have to wait for another post.
In the meantime, you might ponder Pamela's report that LV's creative director Marc Jacobs thought the "Bark Jacobs" toys were funny -- and that several orders were placed for his namesake boutiques. The goods were returned when LV turned out to be somewhat less amused. (Although I can personally confirm that LV lawyers can be charming individuals with fully functioning senses of humor, and probably even love puppies, protecting a famous trademark can be an unforgiving task, especially when the label's designer is a bit of a free spirit.)
$300,000 legal bill or not, Pamela would do it all again. She even offered some wonderful thoughts about the U.S. legal system. But despite her continuing admiration for Marc Jacobs (and the designer raincoat still hanging in her closet), she won't be carrying a Louis Vuitton -- real or fake.