Battle of the Gs: Gucci v Guess

Gucci has lost the latest round of its 4 year legal battle against rival fashion brand Guess after an Italian court found in favour of Guess and cancelled three of Gucci’s trade mark applications.

The case began in 2009 when Gucci brought an action against Guess alleging trade mark infringement and unfair competition. Gucci was particularly concerned about the use by Guess of the similar “G” print appearing on shoes (as illustrated below).

Whilst Gucci won round one in New York, the Italian Court declared that the “G” stamp was common in the fashion world. It was held that Guess’ “Quattro G-diamond” pattern was not derived from Gucci’s “double-G” and the stylistic choices made by Guess were not inspired by Gucci. To add insult to injury, the court ordered the cancellation of Gucci’s diamond pattern, “G logo”, and “Flora” pattern trade marks.

This decision is significant because other brands might now begin to use “G” type logo prints such as those found in the cancelled patterns.

Gucci has confirmed that it will appeal the decision, and that it has ongoing actions against Guess in Paris and Nanjing. The war between the two brands is far from over.

If you would like advice about protecting and enforcing your designs, or any other IP related issues, please contact the IP and Media team at Pannone.

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