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In re Certain Handbags, Luggage, Accessories and Packaging Thereof
United States International Trade Commission
Inv. No. 337-TA-754, USITC (2012)
A luxury fashion manufacturer and importer of handbags, luggage, accessories, and packaging, Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. and Louis Vuitton U.S. Manufacturing, Inc. (Vuitton) (plaintiff) owned registered United States trademarks for the toile monogram used on its products. The toile monogram displayed an entwined “LV” monogram and various designs and colors that were repeated at regular intervals in lines across the horizonal surfaces of its products. Vuitton filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), an independent, quasi-judicial federal agency that addressed trade disputes as an alternative to filing claims in the district court. Vuitton alleged that competing importers (the competitors) (defendants) violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 by importing into the US and selling counterfeit Vuitton products that infringed the registered US trademarks in the toile monogram. The ITC launched an investigation to determine whether the competitors’ import and sale of counterfeit handbags, luggage, accessories, and packaging bearing marks that exactly copied Vuitton’s toile monogram infringed the US trademark registrations in violation of the Lanham Act. During the investigation, all of the competitors settled Vuitton’s claims or were found in default without challenging the allegations. Vuitton filed a motion for summary determination of the trademark-infringement and Section 337 claims.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Bullock, C.J.)
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