Louis Vuitton sends absurd cease-and-desist letter to Penn Law over student event flyer (and more fun with trademark abuse!)

Posted by Charles Colman

Louis Vuitton either has a finely honed sense of irony, or none at all.

On February 29th, one Michael Pantalony, Esq., "Director of Civil Enforcement" at Louis Vuitton, sent a cease-and-desist letter to Dean Michael Fitts of the University of Pennsylvania Law School (colloquially known as "Penn Law.")  The subject of the letter was a clever twist on a recognizable pattern:


The modified version at issue, pictured immediately below, was created for use on a flyer advertising a law student event...





...where intellectual property protection for fashion (note the "TM"s and ©'s worked into the traditional LV pattern) is the very subject on the agenda.  On the full flyer, posted here, you'll see that the program's second panel will address the debate over a bill that would grant additional intellectual property protection to certain "unique" fashion designs.

The controversy surrounding this "Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act" (the "IDPPPA") is warranted: it's a big deal to create a new category of IP protection, especially in an industry that lives and dies on trends and reinvention.

Louis Vuitton's recent C&D letter might help some people currently on the fence about the IDPPPA make up their minds.  After reading the fashion heavyweight's absurd threat, crafted using only existing laws, one naturally wonders if it's wise to add another tool to the arsenal of IP bullies...


For more sometimes-amusing, sometimes-alarming episodes of trademark abuse, see:

Trademark law is very powerful, and very dangerous in the wrong hands.  Unfortunately, it seems the right hands are in short supply these days.  Fortunately, Penn is standing up to Louis Vuitton's threats:





LAW OF FASHION will, of course, let you know how s#*t goes down...

[This post is for entertainment, news dissemination, and informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship among any individuals or entities.  Any views expressed in this post or at the linked web pages are those of the writer on a particular date, and should not necessarily be attributed to this writer, his law firm, or its clients.  LAW OF FASHION does not and cannot warrant the thoroughness or accuracy of the content at the linked web pages.]