Sometimes I just don’t get the French.

In a trademark infringement suit filed in Manhattan Federal Court, Louis Vuitton is going after the Korean Automobile manufacturer Hyundai for using its trademarked logo in a Superbowl commercial. The commercial briefly displays an LV Monogram basketball being tossed around in a random street hoops game.

The French fashion house argues that Hyundai committed infringement by displaying their iconic famous and incontestable logo in the commercial.

However, upon closer inspection, it is easy to recognize that the canvas is only made to resemble the LV print, it is not the true print that Louis Vuitton trademarked in 1932. The faux print was used as a visualization of expensive luxury that is easily recognizable by many and, if anything, only strengthens the awareness of the LV brand as a leading luxury manufaturer.

Keep in mind, would companies not kill to have the opportunity to score a commercial during one of the most watched annual television events worldwide? Not only do the slots cost millions but are also highly contested.

I am no expert on these legal matters, nor do I run a global multi-billion dollar fashion conglomerate, but it is my opinion that the efforts to protect the LV brand may just have gone a bit too far in this one.

We shall find out the court’s ruling soon. In the meanwhile, how do you feel as a consumer about this lawsuit?

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • carrie

    I agree, they should be glad they got free advertising.

  • Alana

    Aren’t they taking it a little too far?? I mean there is no LV logo on the ball

  • An4

    Vlad, you’re thinking like an honest rational human being, not like the corporate leeches. Sure, if they had thought about it first, they would probably PAY to have their logo in that commercial etc., but since they didn’t, they saw an amazing opportunity to have the cake and eat it too. oh make that a wedding cake – a big fuss like this will only bring them even more media space and advertising. it’s a win win win for LV…

  • Tracy P

    I think the lawsuit is frivolous as most lawsuits are nowadays!

  • Tracy P

    btw, love the cops eating caviar in the cop cars! :)

  • Jeanna

    I really don’t see what the big deal it… seriously!? Who cares it’s a commercial. They’re taking it a little too far. Let’s relax now LV!!!!

    • Linda

      My words exactly. Seriously, It’s not like as if Hyundai made the commercial for the sole purpose of advertising a Hyundai along with an “authentic” Louis Vuitton product. The ball shown in the video is not even the original and authentic print/logo of Louis vuitton. Hyundai was just trying to bring out an idea of the small representations that relates to the THEME, which is luxury. Yacht, caviar, and supposedly LV… Hyundai wasn’t born yesterday. They are a multi-million, perhaps a billion dollar company that continues to grow. I am a fan and a consumer of LV, but Hyundai seriously have nothing to lose. This so called lawsuit will be scoffed at- and it will end very sadly and become meaningless for LV.

  • SG Gal

    Its setting of precedence. If LV let Samsung slides, the next time, another company do a ridiculous and un-classy advertisement with LV look-a-like logo, LV may lose its privilege to sue the company. Its not about getting free advertisements on prime time.

    • Excellent point!

      • Merve

        Unclassy advertisement like Britney Spears video with car decked out in pink LV logo??? That really boosted their image.

  • Kimmee

    I think LV I think luxury…champagne, bubble bath, sparkling presents from men. Not Hyundai.
    I understand them not wanting a company to try to tie its’ image to theirs in order to lift up a brand NOT known for luxury or even quality for that matter. They should have asked.
    A moment for those who say it was free advertising… LV doesn’t need to gain any brand awareness associated with Hyundai. Do you think the sight of a logo covered basketball spurred a jump in handbag sales?
    People have trademarks for exactly this reason. Hyundai has lawyers, they should have seen this coming. Everyone knows LV is quite strong in the protection of its’ brand.

  • Janinevs

    I agree with SG Gal, it’s all about precedence. Also, it might not really be LV’s logo, but everyone who saw that ad, saw it as LV. And LV should get to choose where their ads are placed, I wouldn’t be surprised if either football or Hyunday are not really things they’d like to be associated with. Despite what the media would have us believe all publicity is not necessarily good publicity. I think LV is going to win this one.

  • tiffany

    SG Gal is right. If you don’t protect your trademark, it erodes your rights to future infringement claims. They have to do this or it would become more difficult to protect the mark in the future (think about all of the fake LVs out there that would suddenly become “less illegal.”

    • James

      G Gal IS right, It wouldn’t matter if they were selling Mercedes Benz here, if they let this slip through it would open the door for others as well. It is called protecting the brand. They have no choice. Besides, they have the $$ to fight it. Their markup has got to be ridiculous.

  • Jessica Jean Benson

    I have to agree, I think LV is out of their minds. Not only are they recieving FREE publicity at the SUPERBOWL where commercials are millions of dollars, but LV was portrayed as a luxury good which is the persona the company strives to embody; it’s not as if LV was used in a negative connotation. I have to say I am a bit turned off by the arrogance of LV and will refrain from making any purchases with them (as a side note I have found thier stores and sales personelle Act like they want you to kowtao to them).When you have become such a powerhouse household label, people want to emulate and recognize you.

  • 19yearslater

    I think somebody over at LV gets a thrill over lawsuits. C’mon, if people even noticed this it could only help!

  • gpc

    To me, LV represents (for the most part) mass-produced monogrammed bags that are carried by every other person in every mall across America, let alone never knowing for sure if they are fakes or not. LV should be thankful for the free advertising in this incident…

  • Mlle

    Here’s a thought: would Purseblog want to see it’s name and logo (or lookalike) displayed at a site that sells replica or fake handbags?

    • We most certainly wouldn’t want that. But in this case, the (assumed) brand is not being associated with an illegal/immoral product though.

      Sad part is that our content is being involuntarily syndicated on many foreign sites that peddle repulsive counterfeits.

      • Mlle

        Well, in the Hyundai ad, the LV brand is associated with a fake LV basketball. It goes back to SG Gal’s and Kimmee’s point about setting a precedent and association with counterfeit goods. LV has successfully sued watchmakers (not luxury brand watchmakers) for using the “LV flower” in the design of the watch. It’s an uphill task to fight counterfeiting, but it’s useful to remind the market (and consumers) that certain products passed off as LV are not authentic. The LV logo is everywhere as it is, there’s no need to cheapen the brand further LOL.

        I don’t think LV would thank Hyundai for the association with the car either :-D I bet they were just cheesed off at Hyundai and the logo-ed basketball was the only way they could hit back!

        And yes, those replica bag sites are nasty!

  • Septembre

    I understand why a luxury label like Louis Vuitton would not want to be aligned with a not-so-luxury car company like Hyundai. It cheapens the brand and the company is just trying to protect the brand that it took over a century to build.

    If you owned a house would you want some broke neighbour to decrease your property value?

    • I somewhat doubt that any company could fly their logos without prior consent, whether it’d be Rolls Royce or Lada.

  • Kimberly Marney

    LVMH is EXTREMELY protective of its brand and prestigious status. This ad goes against their image. A Hyundai is fine but doesn’t spark the luxury nametag. LVMH wants to be elite and not for everyman… During the short period I saw the basketball, I thought LV! It’s a shocking, garish commercial… definitely not REAL luxury. I think agencies have a tendency to take things too far. Hyundai will get ALOT of publicity from a lawsuit and ALOT of people will support them….In the end, even if Hyundai is wrong, they will win alot of press!

  • courtney

    I want that basketball is what I think lol… also seeing that makes me think LV and makes me re-think that I really need to go look at the purse I want from them!

  • Kate N.

    I wonder if Hermes will respond in the same way…

  • Tawnee

    This lawsuit is not even necessary. LV should be happy they got free advertisement.

  • Chris

    As a lawyer who specializes (among others) in brand protection: I understand LV. They want to protect their brand and nobody should use their Logo without their permission. Also, it is important to know that brand protection is not restricted to the logo itself, but to logos that look strikingly similar. That is the case here.
    Also, LV wants to set a precedent – they cannot let go Hyundai and thus “invite”other brands to do the same.

  • Empress

    If LV feels they have a case, they should pursue it and let the courts decide.

    You know, while LV’s on a sue happy trip, they should sue BRAVO TV and the “The Real Housewives” franchise also. Those TACKY OLD HAGS with nice bags should be seen as BAD publicity for them. As much as I like their monogram (forgive me for loving multicolore) and damier canvas, I’ve steered clear of those items because of icky people ruining them… It breaks my heart.

    • birco

      TACKY OLD HAGS!!! lol youre so right.

  • tex

    Eventhough LV trademarked their logo, have they forgotten that the quatrefoils and the flower design originated from other places. For example, the quatrefoils can be found on many churches built during the Renaissance era. The flower design was original to Japan. You can find the flower design at other places, like the entry way of the “It’s a Small World” ride at Walt Disney World. The only difference is that their logo has the LV in the design, making it special to them. The other designs were “borrowed” from different sources in their monogram collection. That basketball does not have a LV in the design. They don’t own that design on the ball. If they own all design similar to their logo, then that means they will have to sue Japan for the flower design, the churches for the quatrefoils, any circle or diamond shape design, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love LV products, but they can only lay claim on their “LV” and “Louis Vuitton.” Take the Damier collection for example. They can only claim the Louis Vuitton printed inside the square, otherwise they would have to sue anyone who has a checker board design.

  • birco

    I’m getting sick of LV whining and suing every company on the earth.
    I have never bought anything in their ugly monogram and even the subtle damier. And don’t plan to start either. I stay away from them just because every 15 year old and “tacky old hag” seems to carry one.
    Not everyone cares about these monograms that LV seems to slap on everything they make.
    If my fave designer brand was taking the money they made from my purchase and wasting it on legal fees, i’d be super pissed, since it will drive the prices up.

  • Nicole

    LAME!!! Like LV is really hurting for the $$

  • Elyse

    Are there any updates on this case? (fb)

  • Joy

    i acutally like it lol HAHA

  • Thewave1969

    I like LV, but really they are going overboard with the lawsuit…

  • Nat

    this is only to acknowledge that you write very well!

  • naviastella

    I think LV’s reasoning is that so many fake designer products are manufactured in Korea and we’re talking about first class fake products and Hyundai which is Korean; using a logo that similar to LV’s and definitely wants us to think that it’s an LV basketball made LV want to send out a clear message to Hyundai – which is a Korean company, that someone has to answer for all these counterfeits manufactured there or at the very least not encourage it.