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Warner Bros Sued For Pirating Louis Vuitton Trademark

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the snake-eating-its-own-tail dept.

Piracy 227

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "You have to love a case where Warner Brothers, copyright maximalist extraordinaire, gets sued for 'piracy,' in this case for using a knock-off Louis Vuitton bag in a recent movie. This lawsuit has been described as 'awkward' for Warner; I have to agree with that characterization. Louis Vuitton's 22-page complaint (PDF) alleges that Warner Bros. had knowledge that the bag was a knock-off, but went ahead and used it anyway. Apparently Warner Bros. takes IP rights seriously only when its own IP rights are involved."

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they will just shift the blame to some other perso (5, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496352)

they will just shift the blame to some other person or just pin it on a intern.

Re:they will just shift the blame to some other pe (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496386)

It is always an intern. It is a little known fact that Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth were intern patsies.

Re:they will just shift the blame to some other pe (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496602)

No, they will say either 1) "It's not a knock-off; it's a parody." or 2) "We bought the bag, we can use it however we like."

in moives and tv shows it does not work like that (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496668)

If 2 is trun then why do some many reality shows show people with blacked out / taped over t-shits and some times background logos as well?

Re:in moives and tv shows it does not work like th (5, Insightful)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496684)

Because the companies that owned the rights to those logos wouldn't pay for product placement.

Re:in moives and tv shows it does not work like th (4, Insightful)

Alphathon (1634555) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496704)

While it may not apply across the board, it is certainly possible that they don't want to give said brands free advertising, or don't want to be seen to be endorsing a particular company/brand/idea.

Re:in moives and tv shows it does not work like th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496966)

Or the logo is considered gang related like rap videos that sensor out Raider jerseys and such because particular gangs where the clothing. But yeah no free advertising if you want your product on Survivor it better be a pizza or a new smart phone that they can give to the cast with a glaringly obvious plug "the new Samsung X5 it does video conferencing and has sex with your mother", and everyone touches and goes "wow I wish we had those in my day". If you don't pay you don't get shown. That way when they get a beer company say as a sponsor they don't have a dozen episodes showing their stars drinking the other guys beer.

Re:in moives and tv shows it does not work like th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497292)

or the brand in the background is a competitor to the brands that did pay or it is something that they are not allowed to advertise, like alcohol or tobacco

Meanwhile... (5, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496406)

The Warner Bros lawyers are poring over every Louis Vuitton advertisement and product, desperately looking for something to neutralize the issue. Even a stain which is vaguely in the shape of Wile E Coyote would do.

Re:Meanwhile... (1, Interesting)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496468)

And they'll be doing that as much to satisfy their own dire need to confirm their chosen bias as much as to convince anyone else of its validity. Self-delusion is a costly process, for all of us.

Re:Meanwhile... (4, Insightful)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497082)

This was not a Handbag, it was a Prop.
Just in case anybody doesn't know . . . everything you see in the movies and on TV is fake.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497304)

Uhuh. And note this: as WB weren't *selling it*, LV's IP *was not infringed*. So the summary is misleading to say the least.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497208)

Not likely given that movies commonly use props. In the world of movies, not real is the defacto standard. The complaint needs to squarely establish why they are the exception in a sea of rules, that everyone else knows its a fake, and that those who know its a fake are damaged by its presence. Blankly, the only people who give a shit about this story are dumb pirates who are looking for an excuse to be yet dumber than the day before.

Re:they will just shift the blame to some other pe (2, Insightful)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497426)

yes, as opposed to the 'pirate' who will take the blame with pride and meet them head-on in court!

oh, wait.. no...
their wireless was hacked!
it was a DHCP'ed connection and it was somebody else!
it was somebody else in the household and even though they pay for the connection that doesn't make them responsible!
their IP was spoofed!
their ISP's DHCP records are mistaken!
the upload was only named after the movie but it was actually a private collection of poems in third person!
the file was shared automatically by the software and they didn't know this was happening!
a guy saying they were a representative told them to share it - and he looked very trustworthy - sounds legit!

For further 'shifting the blame' awesomeness, see every single story on 'piracy'.

Somehow I suspect that WB will either A. pay up or B. (don't know the movie) suggest that the knock-off LV was actually part of the story as being a knock-off.. at which point LV will have to claim that knock-offs still command royalties to them and that'll be that.

It's 'embarassing' only when the audience is e.g. Slashdot, not when it's any of the legal eagles who deal with exactly this (product placement/featuring in audio/visual productions) subject matter day in, day out.

Ooooh boy.... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496354)

The spambots are gonna go NUTS on this thread...they'll be on-topic for once.

Speaking of Peanuts... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496678)

You know that Planter's Peanuts [planters.com] are the best peanuts! They are naturally remarkable!

Re:Speaking of Peanuts... (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497360)

Their Warts [wikipedia.org] are great, too!

awkward (0, Redundant)

jon_doh2.0 (2097642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496360)

"awkward"

The law is the law (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496372)

Now, according to the usual MPAA calculations and the fact that petilions* of people will see that movie, they now must pay Louis Vuitton about 5 zetalions* dollars.

* The MPAA and RIAA aren't the only ones who can come up with stupid numbers.

Re:The law is the law (5, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496390)

You act as if the law applies to the Movie Studios. How naive.

Re:The law is the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496464)

I think you left out the BSA

Re:The law is the law (5, Funny)

Gavin Scott (15916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496484)

Perhaps they'll just argue that the viewers of the movie are the ones who are infringing by the act of looking at the counterfeit item, and so each moviegoer will owe LV $3,000.

G.

Re:The law is the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496572)

+1

Re:The law is the law (4, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496770)

Perhaps they'll just argue that the viewers of the movie are the ones who are infringing

That movie had viewers???????

Re:The law is the law (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497432)

That movie had viewers???????

Um, it was only the 4th highest grossing movie in the US [boxofficemojo.com] this year. Horrible, yes, but very popular.

Re:The law is the law (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497288)

According to hollywood tax lawyers, nobody will see the movie.
Not counting the (world_population * 2) people who'll download the movie, according to hollywood copyright lawyers.

I so Looove Louis Vuittonnn! (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496376)

I so Looove Louis Vuittonnn!

I don't have any, I won't buy any, but I soo loove Louis Vuittonnn!

Re:I so Looove Louis Vuittonnn! (2)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496396)

It's a damn bag. For crying out loud it's a damned ugly bag too.

Re:I so Looove Louis Vuittonnn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496470)

but its Lacwa!

Re:I so Looove Louis Vuittonnn! (1)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497104)

What about the Guns and other weapons that aren't real
do production companies need to pay money for those product placements

god dammit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496378)

Justice and morality are for humans. While you may feel smug and smart that you've spotted a corporation engaged in hypocrisy, why the hell would it care? It exists to make money for executives and shareholders, in that order, and the only time the law is interesting is when breaking it is likely to result in greater loss of profit than obeying it.

What you see on TV isn't Real (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496384)

When it comes to Hollywood, everything is imaginary, including "intellectual property".

Unsurprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496412)

It is unsurprising that under capitalism, the interests of one's own firm is superior in consideration. That said, one wonders if the "violation" was unintentional and therefore only negligent not intentional legally. Ironaically that does not minimalize civil damages very much. This is an area where the legal system itself needs fixin'.

JJ

curious case (4, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496414)

It does indeed put WB in an awkward position, because the best defenses here are some variety of permissive fair use. I do think there is a reasonable case for this sort of use of trademarks in fictional settings being given wide leeway, though. For example, mockups of vehicles or boats, or their interiors, are frequently used on film sets as stand-ins for the real thing, usually for practical reasons. Should that be illegal?

Re:curious case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496446)

Only if they sue.

Re:curious case (2)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496552)

For example, mockups of vehicles or boats, or their interiors, are frequently used on film sets as stand-ins for the real thing, usually for practical reasons. Should that be illegal?

They usually avoid calling the props by a brand name unless it's product placement. In this case, they were just using "Louis Vuitton" as a synonym for "expensive".

Re:curious case (4, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496584)

A mockup of an BMW is not going to excuse the studio from getting permission from BMW. It may make it cheaper, but it won't eliminate it.

The thing is, they were presenting the LV bag as a legit LV bag, explicitly using the LV brand on film. But WB knew it wasn't real, were warned it wasn't, and went ahead anyway. Now, if there was a payoff joke at the end where they go, "It's not a LV! Look! You can tell by the cross-section!" that might have worked. I dunno, not a lawyer.

Either way, the goddamn thing cost $80 mil to make and it returned $250 mil stateside. No excuse WB couldn't have dug around in a cushion for a legit bag to satiate the legal beagles. Take an olive out of every salad for Ed Helms; it worked for American Airlines...

Re:curious case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496772)

I thought part of the joke was that it was a fake.

Re:curious case (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497226)

Heck, they could have bought the real bag, used it in the movie, and auctioned it off afterwards as a famous movie prop and probably gotten more for it than they paid. This is assuming the item was not destroyed while making the film. I have not seen it and have no plans to.

Re:curious case (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497230)

Either way, the goddamn thing cost $80 mil to make and it returned $250 mil stateside.

But be bad for them loosing so much money on a movie.

Signed,
your Hollywood Accountant.

Re:curious case (3, Informative)

Plunky (929104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496588)

use of trademarks representing a non genuine item, is not allowed.. that mockup of a vehicle or a boat or a secret under-volcano hideaway well now, are they branded items?

I'm sorry, but I reckon WB could have purchased a LV bag and used it without paying a penny for licensing and LV would have been delighted at the free coverage..

Re:curious case (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497004)

I'm sorry, but I reckon WB could have purchased a LV bag and used it without paying a penny for licensing and LV would have been delighted at the free coverage..

Can a lawyer confirm this? Inquiring minds want to know.

Also: Could they have used the fake bag and just not mention the trademarked name? Like wearing levis in the movie, but never mentioning them?

Re:curious case (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496632)

In this case, (yes, I actually read, er, skimmed the legal complaint) WB used knock off bags and luggage in a scene, but had a character refer to them as Louis Vuitton products. According to LV, this will create confusion in the public's mind about the knockoff's monogram vs. LV's trademarked emblems. Plus, LV had filed a complaint with WB before releasing the film to DVD and blu-ray which WB chose to ignore. So LV is seeking damages for intentional trademark violation and a couple of other infractions. Had the film not specifically mentioned LV in the dialog, there probably wouldn't have been a case.

Re:curious case (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496774)

This is odd. Does that mean that any movie that maybe had a theme about counterfeit goods couldn't have a character try to hawk those items as being genuine? I hate to agree with WB on this, but if the studio didn't specifically say it was LV, but had a FICTIONAL character say it, I can't see it as infringement.

Re:curious case (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497386)

They should also push for ICE to seize the WB domain as it's encouraging the purchase of films which use pirated and wilful trademark infringing material.

Re:curious case (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496874)

I'd say their best defense would be to call it a documentary about fake LV bags. It clearly wasn't a comedy, so it works out.

Re:curious case (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497356)

I do think there is a reasonable case for this sort of use of trademarks in fictional settings being given wide leeway, though.

Actually, I'd phrase that the other way around: I don't think there's any reasonable case at all for restricting the use of trademarks in fictional settings, as long as that use does not amount to slander or libel.

I write novels. Am I now required to get clearance from BMW before describing my character as driving one of their vehicles? What if the vehicle I describe isn't actually one that they sell? Clearly, this is patently ridiculous (pun intended).

Traditionally, trademarks can only[1] be protected where somebody is using them to sell something that is similar to what the trademark holder sells, or with what is clearly intended to be perceived as an association between the vendor of a dissimilar item and the trademark holder (this latter case is what means you can't make your own merchandise for somebody else's movie). In this case, WB is not selling a bag, nor is it attempting to associate its film in the public's mind with Louis Vuitton's bags or other products. So I see no way in which trademark law applies, or should apply.

[1] - yes, I'm aware point of import is protected also in this case, but this isn't something I'd call a traditional trademark protection, and I'm not in favour of it.

Appropriate fine would be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496424)

$7000 per human-minute spent watching the bag in the movie, including the pirated copies.
Estimate for no. of pirated copies to be obtained using same method which gives no. of pirated copies in the millions and shows massive losses of revenue from piracy

How can they tell? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496436)

How is is possible to know if the bag was a knockoff or not? It can sometimes be impossible to tell when looking at them up-close, never mind a glance of one in a movie. The only way cops are able to shut down the shops selling these is basically by profiling the shops themselves. Shop run out of flea market space/van + high fashion handbag / low price ~= fake. Works 99.999% of the time.

And the funny thing is the real bags are made at least as unethically as the fakes.

Re:How can they tell? (1)

stuffeh (1108283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496574)

Because of the design of the bag. All they have to do is look through their entire catalog of bags they have made in the past, see that it doesn't match any designs and viola. If you have access to the actual specs, it's pretty trivial to go through and filter the search by size, color and design. Similar thing happened to some A-lister, and VL sent her a real bag to replace her fake one, I don't remember who that was. And a quick google news search for "louis vuitton" back to 2007 came up empty. For the record, they spotted the bag in the Hangover 2 movie.

Re:How can they tell? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496654)

The fake wasn't even a copy of an actual LV bag? Haha, serves 'em right.

Re:How can they tell? (2)

stuffeh (1108283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496778)

When all you want to do is make a few bucks off a few thousand dollar thing, copying the specs to the letter isn't your top priority. The fakes usually only care about getting the logo in.

Re:How can they tell? (2)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496792)

Most of the fakes are not exact copies of real LV bags. My wife LOVES LV stuff and is particularly expert at spotting the fakes. We just got back from a week in LA; you'd be surprised how many of those bags even in Beverly Hills aren't real...

Re:How can they tell? (5, Funny)

AverageWindowsUser (2537474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496860)

We just got back from a week in LA; you'd be surprised how many of those bags even in Beverly Hills aren't real...

The fun-bags aren't real there either.

Thats just FUD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496438)

NewYorkCountryLawyer is just spreading FUD as they are most likely handling Legal and PR for the court case against Warner Brothers. In the context of a movie/show.. fake knock off is the norm, as props. It is especially evident with Computers/OS in movies. Unless its mass distribution of said knock offs can pose a problem to the bottom line. This guy is just sirring the pot needlessly.

Re:Thats just FUD (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496482)

Spare us. Even though it's an appeal to authority I'm sure NewYorkCountryLawyer knows a shit-load more about conflicts of interest than most people here, including me.

And you.

Personally, after reading a little about Hollywood accounting years ago, I shed my last tear for Big Celluloid.

Re:Thats just FUD (-1, Flamebait)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496604)

Spare us. Even though it's an appeal to authority I'm sure NewYorkCountryLawyer knows a shit-load more about conflicts of interest than most people here, including me.

And you.

Because, of course, it's impossible to create a Slashdot name like that unless the creator is a lawyer.

How is life as a neo-medieval toilet, btw?

Re:Thats just FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496658)

How on earth do you have a UID that low and not know of NewYorkCountryLawyer.

Re:Thats just FUD (5, Informative)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496686)

Because, of course, it's impossible to create a Slashdot name like that unless the creator is a lawyer.

No, but we know he is. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Thats just FUD (4, Interesting)

PyroMosh (287149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496916)

Yeah, as others have alluded to, NewYorkCountryLawyer is one of several well-known Slashdot users. Like CleverNickname [slashdot.org] and some others of note [kiwix.org] .

Maybe not everyone on Slashdot knows who these folks are, but they are known by many if not most.

Re:Thats just FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497376)

Being a known slash dot user is a disservice, not a meritorious quality.

Like being a Congress member, it says a lot against you.

Re:Thats just FUD (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497040)

Of course, actually reading his posts over the YEARS would tell you that he has a clue. Your's actually do for the most part as well... Did you leave yourself logged in somewhere?

Re:Thats just FUD (4, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496706)

Personally, after reading a little about Hollywood accounting years ago, I shed my last tear for Big Celluloid.

Yeah, really. When you read the list of movies that have "lost money" on paper (Forrest Gump, Coming to America, The Lord of the Rings films, Spider-Man, JFK...to name a few) it's hard to take any claims they make seriously.

Probably not a trademark violation (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496442)

LV has a weak case here. Warner isn't making anything LV makes. They themselves didn't make an infringing product. They just showed pictures of one.

Re:Probably not a trademark violation (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496610)

I don't make anything Warner makes, I won't make an infringing movie, I will just post clips of theirs on YouTube... I think we both know how that would end. But regardless, this has got to be embarrassing for Warner - multibillion movie giant can't afford to rent a real LV bag for the movie shoot?

Re:Probably not a trademark violation (3, Informative)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496666)

You're not legally allowed to make advertisements for counterfeit products even if it's not your counterfeit product.

Re:Probably not a trademark violation (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496906)

A movie is not an advertisement. Well, good movies are not advertisements....

Re:Probably not a trademark violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496936)

I would LOVE to see a court ruling saying movies qualify as advertisements.

Re:Probably not a trademark violation (0)

AverageWindowsUser (2537474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496940)

You're not legally allowed to make advertisements for counterfeit products even if it's not your counterfeit product.

Unless you're a communist.

Vist warez-bb.org today !!!

There's my advertisment for counterfeit products.
Guess I broke some silly american law.
Thanks SOPA creators for pointing be to that site. I always wanted free YouTube comment bot software. What a Christmas gift from the U.S. guhmit.

Re:Probably not a trademark violation (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496806)

And how is this not defamation? I for one am sure my wife did not buy a Luis Vuitton bag now, after seeing how awful this one looked in the movie. Fortunately the real bags look much better, but it's too late for my wife. Secretly I'm glad because maybe we can buy a new car instead.

We're all thinking it, so I'll say it... (2)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496444)

Bwahahahhahahahahahah!!!!

Sorry, I don't see it. (4, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496474)

It was used as a prop in a movie. Nobody thinks that's real, like the whiskey and champagne they supposedly drink in the movies, it's just a prop. I'd be amazed if they'd spend the insane amounts of money for one of those ugly bags, when they can get something that looks the same on film for a tenth or less the price.

If they had said that Louis Vuitton bags caused cancer and alien leprosy, maybe I could see the point of a slander/libel suit (no idea which applies to films), but for using a lookalike prop? OMG - They'd have to start using the real Mona Lisa, Spacecraft, Prize winning Livestock, etc... Yeah, right.
I think they'd also have a case if the filmmakers were selling the props as the real thing. Obviously selling a prop as a prop is just memorabilia, and not counterfeiting, but as far as I know, they aren't even doing that.

The Louis Vuitton bag makers have apparently lost their sanity, and this lawsuit is the proof.

Re:Sorry, I don't see it. (3, Interesting)

BeerCat (685972) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496500)

It was used as a prop in a movie. Nobody thinks that's real, like the whiskey and champagne they supposedly drink in the movies, it's just a prop. I'd be amazed if they'd spend the insane amounts of money for one of those ugly bags, when they can get something that looks the same on film for a tenth or less the price.

It may be "something that looks the same", but if they didn't ask LV for permission, then it is IP infringement.

Of course, your argument is based on logic and common sense, something lacking in the murky world of IP 'protection'

Re:Sorry, I don't see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496550)

Why isn't this considered free advertising for LV? I thought that generally companies had to pay to be in movies, and by showing the bag anyway it was free?

Re:Sorry, I don't see it. (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496556)

Because they aren't advertising a real bag.

Re:Sorry, I don't see it. (3, Interesting)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496720)

If they had paid LV $10,000 to use a real bag, or obtained genuine LV luggage from other means (like, borrowed it from someone that had the real deal) LV would not have much complaint. However, they have a character claiming out loud that the ripoff luggage is LV, calling it by name, when it is just as much a pirated version as a $3 DVD from Chinatown is of this movie. LV doesn't have much of a chance of winning the lawsuit, but they're proving a point that the Internet isn't the only place copyright infringement occurs, and if WB was serious about battling piracy for everyone they'd take better precautions to avoid violating their own demands.

Re:Sorry, I don't see it. (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496852)

There is probably tons of precedent on this. This is why you frequently see products with their logos taped over or obscured. It's why you see white beer cans with just the word "BEER" on them instead of creating a label which merely looks like a particular brand of beer. "Looking like" an LV bag is enough to win the case I suspect. They probably would have been better off borrowing a bag from one of their wives or girlfriends for the shooting. But who knows.

The thing I find most troubling about this type of case is that for all these decades, the industries involved haven't managed to eat each other into oblivion... I really wish they would.

Re:Sorry, I don't see it. (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496928)

A lot of the times, what you are talking is done to avoid giving a certain company free advertisement. This could be a particular problem if the program features Yuengling and Budweiser is one your biggest advertisers. Also, fashion tends to have weaker protection, since trademark doesn't protect functionality, and a big part of the functionality of fashion is looking nice. The design on a beer can doesn't make your beer taste better.

Re:Sorry, I don't see it. (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497260)

when they can get something that looks the same on film for a tenth or less the price.

They GET money to use it. Probably the product placement deal fell through and nobody told the writers.

This will most likely be dealth with out of court for an undisclosed amount of money. Most likely not even money, but free product placement in some movies.

Look for the LV logo on Batmans next costume.

The subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496534)

Whats the problem? Warner Brothers should just sue anyone for mentioning, saying or writing the name "Warner Brothers"...
Warner Brothers
Weiner Brothers
Warner Brothers
Warner Brothers

Re:The subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496786)

Careful. I hope you didn't have a candle by your side while typing that.

You might awake the sleeping demons.

Advertising? (1)

ehiris (214677) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496540)

Sounds like Louis Vuitton is using this to advertise more of their really ugly products.

How could they have been hurt with product placement?

Re:Advertising? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496918)

LV sells ugly bags at high prices. Having a superior counterfeit advertised as LV undermines their marketing efforts because it creates the impression that those nice bags you can buy near the airport are actual LV.

Why Permissions for showing item in movies? (4, Insightful)

tahuti (744415) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496566)

Why it is required permission of the manufacturer to show item in the movie? Second if item is going to be destroyed wouldn't it be expected for fake to be used? Is it legally required or "keep court away".

Movies and Music are not intellectual property! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38496622)

Someone should tell this New York lawyer that movies and music
are "ARTISTIC PROPERTY". Always has been, always will.

It's only those 'who lack standing' [lawyers], who are make the assertion.

It would be impossible for Snoop-Dog or Barbra Streisand to try and
claim that their work should be defined as intellectual property.

I have 6 sole patents and one shardd, I know what IP really is.

Dr.Science

free product placement and they sue? (1)

bre_dnd (686663) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496624)

LV bags are expensive -- and the magic aura is created by having chosen celebrities photographed. I'm not sure how mentioning a brand name is *ever* relevant to the plot of a movie. Basically LV is getting free mention -- were they too cheap to provide the goods?

Re:free product placement and they sue? (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496862)

If it's a fake, it is potentially damaging to the brand.

Don't forget that there are reasons why really expensive stuff is really expensive. Yes, part of it is paying for brand identity, and people who buy LV bags aren't going to balk over $50 or $100. But they expect insanely high quality, and they get it - genuine high-end stuff really is made with better, softer leather. It's hand-stitched. It's highly durable. My mother-in-law has a Vuitton purse that has withstood ten years of near-daily use. A friend of mine owns a tailoring shop; even the cheapest clothes he makes look better and feel better than anything you can get off the rack at a department store or Joseph A. Bank, and the more expensive stuff (made with more expensive fabric) really does make a difference in how the clothes look and feel.

Is it worth it? I might not do all of my clothes through him if I had to wear a suit to work every day, but it really is a lot more pleasant to dress up when you've got top-notch clothes to do it in.

Re:free product placement and they sue? (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497018)

But they expect insanely high quality, and they get it - genuine high-end stuff really is made with better, softer leather. It's hand-stitched. It's highly durable.

None of which is relevant in a prop, as you can't see "soft", "durable", or "hand-stitched" on the screen. I mean, as much as I'd love to see WB lose some sort of high-profile IP infringement case to make a mockery of them, this may be the dumbest possible example of IP infringement I can think of.

Heck, I'm not convinced it is actual infringement. At no point did WB claim that the product was an LV bag. A character in a fictional story made the claim. A character can also make the claim that the White House just blew up. Nobody is going to go running out of the theater to call a family member in D.C. to make sure he or she is okay. It's fiction. A character can claim that they have a LV freezer bag and it's still not likely to be a problem in a court of law.

The only thing dubious is that technically the use or continued possession of a known counterfeit might be a violation if the original design is protected by a patent and the knock-off violates it. Other than that, LV should have no case, and the judge should laugh them right out of the courtroom.

The best part was the comment by an AC that WB was warned before releasing the DVD and Blu-Ray. So apparently LV expects WB to go back and remake part of a movie that has already been shown in theaters to fix what amounts to a very minor technical error in the props department. Even though I would love to see WB lose an IP case, it shouldn't be this case. I hope WB spanks LV and gets a damage award of court costs and fines for frivolous litigation on top of the win.

Missing the joke (3, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496646)

I haven't seen the film so I can't confirm it, but in the clip Zach's character clearly mispronounces Louis Vuitton as Lewis Vuitton. That would seem to suggest he knows jack shit about fashion. I can't find a high quality shot of the bag itself, but TFA says the bag is "marked LVM." That would seem to suggest that it's a rather pathetic knockoff, and that's possibly the joke itself. Thus, LV wants WB to pretend a real LV is a fake LV, and deserves to be slapped for being so stupid.

wilful? I hope so. (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496694)

If it's wilful, they get enhanced damages assessed against them.

But you know, those movie makers always "make a loss" on every movie. It's the other supporting companies which they also own which make the profits. This way they can claim they didn't make any money and cheat everyone who signed up for a portion of the profits. It's how they work. So if the awarded damages are a portion or even ALL of the money they made from a given movie, LV will get nothing. I hope LV's lawyers are already well aware of the ways these jackasses protect themselves and have figured a way around and through the problem.

potrayal (1)

Intropy (2009018) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496700)

The bag was portraying a Louis Vuitton bag. That doesn't mean it really is one. It's fiction. They didn't really lose someone in Thailand either.

Better idea (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496814)

Perhaps LV should just release a bag based on the one in the move. What are the makers of the 'knock offs' going to do, sue them?

Damage calculation guideline (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 2 years ago | (#38496896)

(How many people saw the film + how many dvd's being made) * price of an original LV bag * punitive penalty

Troll summary is trollin' (0)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497002)

Apparently Warner Bros. takes IP rights seriously only when its own IP rights are involved."

All right, really? I hate "Big IP" as much as the next fanatic (my posting history will bear that out), but come on. Let's be honest.
The only people who give a fuck about stupid "handbag" IP is the designers themselves and the type of schmuck who will pay $2-3000 for "designer" shit so they can snob it. For most people, if the knockoff is good enough that the seams don't split, they could give a shit.

Same goes for clothes designers. Fuck 'em.

For real, like the pirate in Somalia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497042)

How many did the pirates kill in the process of stealing their colors?

Karma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497052)

WB: this is what you get for being a copyright bully. Burn in hell, assholes.

It's a fake! (1)

ath1901 (1570281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38497098)

In other news: Walther sues Bond movie for not using a real gun...

What we have learned from this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497414)

What we have learned from this:
IP is critically important, when its My P. Your P doesn't rhyme with IP, so ... meh.

RIAA Math (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38497450)

With everything fair, we can compare this to cases like those of Jammie Thomas. 24 songs = $1.5 million according to these media groups, or about $60,000 apiece. Assuming a song is worth $1 (like on iTunes), this is a multiplier of 60,000. A cheap Vuitton bag is $500 (I'm being pretty generous here - they probably used a knock off of a more expensive bag). With the same multiplier as the RIAA uses, WB therefore owes about $30 million.

Yes, yes, I know that copyright isn't trademark and all that. The point is that if you were to be fair and charge these insane statutory damages with the multiplier these groups feel is appropriate, WB owes $30 million for a handbag. In fact, if you go with the reduced damages that keep popping up for Thomas, at ~$2000 per song, then WB would then owe $1 million for a handbag.

Of course that will never happen. They'll find a way to pay each other off, because they can't really 'scare' each other into submission like the RIAA can individuals.

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