Gucci Shops, Inc. v. R. H. Macy & Co.

446 F. Supp. 838 (1977)

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Gucci Shops, Inc. v. R. H. Macy & Co.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
446 F. Supp. 838 (1977)

  • Written by Ann Wooster, JD

Facts

An international seller and distributor of high-end fashion merchandise, Gucci Shops, Inc. (Gucci) (plaintiff) had a worldwide reputation for excellent design and artisanship. Gucci owned a registered trademark in the family name “GUCCI” that was used on travel and tote bags. Gucci also owned a registered trademark in the Gucci stripe taken from the family’s flag, a red band surrounded on both sides by a green band. These two trademarks used together clearly identified Gucci products in the marketplace. R. H. Macy & Co. (Macy) (defendant) was a retailer that sold a diaper bag manufactured by Fashioncraft Products, Incorporated (Fashioncraft) (defendant). The diaper bag had diagonal stripes of green, red, and green bands on both side panels, with the word “GUCCHI” above the stripe and the word “GOO” below the stripe. Gucci brought an action in the district court, claiming that Fashioncraft’s diaper bag imitated Gucci’s ordinary travel or tote bag in a manner that was likely to cause consumer confusion and infringed Gucci’s registered trademarks in violation of the Lanham Trade-Mark Act. Gucci argued that Fashioncraft’s diaper bag ridiculed the well-known registered trademarks for the “GUCCI” name and the family stripe to poke fun at Gucci. Macy voluntarily stopped selling Fashioncraft’s diaper bag in its retail stores. Gucci moved for a preliminary injunction restraining Fashioncraft from manufacturing, distributing, or selling the product or from otherwise infringing on Gucci’s registered trademarks. The district court held a hearing on Gucci’s preliminary-injunction motion.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Motley, J.)

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