brand vs. brand
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 3, 2012 05:01 PM
Guess is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month with the return of Claudia Schiffer in a new campaign (at right). But there's one front on which the brand's iconic model can't help out.
The American denim giant, started by the French-born Marciano brothers (Paul and Maurice, now co-chairmen and -CEOs) in 1982, is tangling in court with a sexy Italian: Gucci.
The brands are squaring off in a battle that’s been raging between them for years. The way Gucci lawyer Louis Ederer sees it, Guess is working a “massive, complicated scheme to knock off Gucci’s best-known and iconic designs," according to Bloomberg. Guess, as you might guess, begs to differ.
The claim is that Guess has infringed on four Gucci trademarks, the Huffington Post notes: “the green and red stripe; the interlocking "G" pattern; the square ‘G’ and the brand name's delicate script font.” And this infringement didn’t just occur on one or two products, the suit claims. It was on, Gucci claims, $221 million worth of products.
"[Guess] has no reason to be like Gucci and it did not scheme to be like Gucci," said Guess attorney Daniel Petrocelli in court last week. He also said that of the 1,495 Guess products that were said to be infringing on Gucci’s trademarks, 99 percent “could never be confused with Gucci.”
The Telegraph notes that Petrocelli also pointed out that Guess is going after a younger target audience than the more affluent Gucci shopper. "The numbers don't add up," Petrocelli reportedly told the judge. "If there was a scheme, it failed miserably."
In the meantime, there's always that 30th anniversary to celebrate — and some winsome Guess tees to snap up.