In 2009 Gucci took Guess to a New York Federal Court accusing Guess of counterfeiting, unfair competition and trade mark infringement. The trade mark infringement related to the interlocking "G"s that appear on a line of Guess shoes, which Gucci argue confused customers and caused them to lose profits. In 2012, Gucci was awarded $4.7 million in damages for Guess' breach of its signatures, but the sum was far less than the $221 million claimed by Gucci.
Following the success of their claim in the United States, Gucci then brought claims against Guess on the same grounds in Italy, France, Australia and China and also initiated proceedings with the European Union Intellectual Property Office. Interestingly, Italy, France and the European Union ruled in favour of Guess and Australia and China ruled in favour of Gucci.
Finally, in April this year the luxury brands have ended the 9 year dispute by reaching an agreement "which will result in the conclusion of all pending IP litigations and trademark office matters worldwide". This dispute clearly highlights the complexity of trade mark disputes and how the success of a claim is greatly dependent on expert legal advice. Further it highlights the importance of protecting valuable logos or slogans internationally.
Please contact our lawyers if you believe your trade mark is bring infringed or if you have been put on notice for trade mark infringement. If you have not obtained a Trade Mark for your valuable logo please call us and we can assist this both in Australia and all over the world.