Louis Vuitton Didn’t Get the Joke from Parody Handbag Maker

My Other Bags sells inexpensive canvas tote bags that are obvious parodies of pricey designer bags. Luxury handbag maker Louis Vuitton doesn’t get the joke. The company filed a trademark infringement suit in New York that was tossed out because the judge said it was clear the canvas bag wasn’t a typical knockoff copy. Earlier this week, an appeals court judge said he wouldn’t reconsider that decision.  

Chris Schwegmann, an intellectual property partner at Dallas-based Lynn Pinker Hurst & Schwegmann, agrees Louis Vuitton missed the joke: 

“This case is very different from most counterfeit litigation. Just by looking at them, the products sold by My Other Bag are clearly not Louis Vuitton bags. That is part of the joke. 

“This is lawsuit is a cautionary tale that trademark holders need to pick and choose their targets carefully. Sometimes by suing, you bring more attention to the alleged infringer, and in this case, it seems that Louis Vuitton is the butt of the joke. There are several examples of trademark holders sending silly cease and desist letters, only to have the action backfire on them in a very public way.”