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Gucci accuses Guess of knocking off designs as trial starts

March 28, 2012|By Shan Li
  • Guess? Inc. is accused by Gucci of ripping off its designs.
Guess? Inc. is accused by Gucci of ripping off its designs. (Scott Eells / Bloomberg )

It’s fashion versus fashion as luxury label Gucci faced off in court against Los Angeles clothier Guess? Inc. over a multimillion dollar trademark lawsuit.

In the opening day of trial Wednesday in Manhattan, Gucci accused Guess of purposely copycatting its designs in a "complicated scheme" to knock off the Italian fashion company's most iconic trademarks, according to Bloomberg.

The saga began three years ago when Gucci filed suit against Guess alleging the California company tried to "Gucci-ize" its products by crafting logos that closely imitated Gucci trademarks, including mimicking the iconic interlocking G pattern that has appeared on numerous Gucci items over the years.

The lawsuit also covered Gucci's green and red striped design and its square G logo. Gucci alleged that Guess' designs so closely resembled its own trademarks as to cause confusion among shoppers.

"It's about a massive, complicated scheme to knock off Gucci's best known and iconic designs," said Gucci attorney Louis Ederer in court, according to Bloomberg.

In court documents, Guess struck back, claiming that Gucci can't cry infringement because it "sat on its rights" and waited at least seven years before suing.

Guess also said that Gucci has "no evidence" that the designs in question would cause consumers to become confused.

Gucci is seeking damages and other penalties in excess of $124 million, Bloomberg said.

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