20 April 2018Trademarks

Gucci and Guess put years of litigation behind them

Fashion retailers Gucci and Guess have reached an agreement to end all pending international IP litigation between them.

A joint statement, released yesterday, April 19, said: “The agreement is an important step for both companies in recognising the significance of protecting their respective IP portfolios and design creativity.”

The dispute dates back to 2009, when Gucci sued Guess for trademark infringement at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Italy-based Gucci alleged that Guess had infringed or counterfeited four of its trademarks, and one trade dress, on over 1,000 stock keeping units. The rights in question involved Gucci’s ‘GRG Stripe’, ‘Repeating GG Pattern’, ‘Diamond Motif Trade Dress’, ‘Stylised G’ and ‘Script Gucci’.

The lawsuit marked the beginning of years of litigation between the companies.

In 2012, the Italian fashion brand was awarded $4.6 million in damages by the district court, which ruled that Guess infringed the trademarks. However, damages were far smaller than the $221 million that Gucci initially requested.

The trademark battles didn’t always sway in Gucci’s favour. In 2013, the Milan Court of First Instance ruled that Guess did not infringe Gucci’s trademarks, although the court did partially uphold Gucci’s appeal in 2014.

The Italian court subsequently stated that Guess had to pay damages because it continued to adopt signs resembling Gucci’s commercial offering, but at a lower price.

In 2015, Gucci said it would appeal against the Paris High Court’s decision rejecting its claim that Guess had infringed three of its EU trademarks covering its wallets and belts.

While an agreement has been reached between the parties, the terms are confidential.

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More on this story

3 February 2015   The Paris High Court has dismissed Gucci’s claim that US clothing brand Guess infringed three of its Community trademarks in France, and has revoked the registrations.
19 June 2013   Italian luxury brand Guccio Gucci SpA announced on June 17 that it would appeal against the Court of Milan’s recent decision to dismiss its trademark infringement case against the Los Angeles-based clothing line Guess Inc.
27 February 2019   Clothing brand Guess has failed to halt the registration of a trademark featuring the word ‘Hater’ inside a triangle in Singapore.