The G Spot

Intellectual property is a terrible thing to waste. Gucci is one of the many big brands to keep their lawyers in sports cars and lobster cocktails. Here is a sampling from the past few years of IP litigation.

Geezus: Gucci's registered trademark.

2012/ Last week Gucci went to court today to settle a dispute over Guess’s alleged infringement of Gucci’s signature G monogram, red and green stripes, and diamond motif. Gucci claims Guess made over $200 million by knocking off Gucci’s logos with the “clear intent” to persuade people to “think it’s Gucci.”

2011/ According to reports in Vogue, Rihanna was paid less money when modeling for Gucci because she is from a Caribbean island. Josephine Robinson, former Gucci employee, says that while she was writing up the contract for the music artist’s shoot, her boss—the international tax counsel Stan Sherwood—told her to allocate Rihanna less funds because she is not a citizen of the United States.

2010/ The fashion companies Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, and Balenciaga sued what they thought was a vendor of counterfeit goods—only to find out that the site was owned by the rival house Chanel. Suit was filed against MyPurseWorld.com, which once sold counterfeit goods. In the summer of 2009, however, Chanel had acquired the site after suing its operator. Chanel used the site to thwart other counterfeiters. Investigators for Gucci had apparently neglected to refresh the website since 2009 .

2009/ Gucci America sued Frontline Processing Corp, Woodforest National Bank, Durango Merchant Services LLC, and other unnamed credit-card companies in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. It said that by processing transactions on counterfeits, the companies “not only supply the necessary marketplace for such transactions, they are full partners in those counterfeiting activities.” This case derived from another anticounterfeit case that Gucci settled last year for $5.2 million.

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