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Court Rules Louis Vuitton Pattern Too Basic to Trademark

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Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

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Louis Vuitton's argument that its iconic Damier checkerboard pattern is worthy of trademark rights isn't getting much traction in court. The European Union’s General Court just threw out Louis Vuitton's suit to regain the trademark for its checkerboard pattern, WWD reports.

This particular battle has been going on for years. In 2008, Louis Vuitton originally registered the trademark, and in 2009, another retailer filed an application to have the trademark declared invalid. That decision was granted in 2011. The court ruled at the time that it was too simple of a pattern, stating that "the checkerboard pattern, as represented in the contested trade mark, was a basic and banal feature composed of very simple elements and that it was well-known that that feature had been commonly used with a decorative purpose in relation to various goods." There's no word yet as to whether Louis Vuitton will file an appeal in light of this latest ruling.

"This trademark loss is a double-blow to Louis Vuitton, who has been fighting to protect these marks since 2009," trademark attorney Sharon Daboul told The Fashion Law. "It can no longer claim to have a monopoly on the chequerboard pattern as applied to leather goods and bags, even if it was the first to come up with it. This loss might make it harder for the company to protect its bags against competitors or counterfeiters in the EU as it will no longer be able to rely on its trademark registrations."