For years Louis Vuitton (LVMH), has battled numerous trademark infringement court cases to protect their iconic and world famous LV branding. Now, you would think that a company who knew the value of their branding and their products would know what it means to other companies. Apparently thats not the case when it comes to Louis Vuitton. It seems as if they feel they shouldnt be stepped on but yet feel like they can step on others. And now its coming back to haunt them.
A couple weeks ago New Balance filed a lawsuit in Boston’s U.S. District Court charging that The Minstrel, a new shoe released by Louis Vuitton at a price of $590 is an exact replica of the New Balance 574, a trademarked design from New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. that retails for a little over $50.
The suit that New Balance filed also claims that the company (New Balance) has collaborated with numerous companies and celebrity’s on its popular 574 model that The Minstrel released by LV may confuse customers and lead them to believe that the sneakers are some sort of New Balance x Louis Vuitton collaboration when they are indeed not.
As you can imagine this isnt something New Balance is to pleased on, given the fact this was no joint effect between the two brands. If it were, then we would have a highly successful model on our hands, as the suit even states itself with the quote “Indeed, it is possible that had New Balance authorized Louis Vuitton to design a special Louis Vuitton edition of the iconic New Balance 574 shoe, the Minstrel might have been a highly successful collaboration.”
This suit was filed back around mid-September and no new news has yet to surface on the case. Either things were handled with the quickness out of court to avoid a huge media storm on the story or the court proceedings are still taking place. Coming from somebody whos been to court many of times, this stuff can take months, if not years before it gets settled.
Im personal on team New Balance though. The 574 is a classic and one of my favorite sneakers when it comes to comfort level. Not to mention New Balance is an American company based out of Boston, so i gotta give it up for team USA on this one.