Famously litigious fashion house Louis Vuitton has a new target in its sights. The French designer label sent a cease and desist letter to the University of Pennsylvania Law School after the college created satirical posters for upcoming seminars.
The law school created posters, which feature a Louis Vuitton style signature print with trademark and copyright signs in the place of LV initial and flowers, to promote lectures on fashion law. The design was intended to pay homage to Louis Vuitton's aggressive stance on trademark enforcement, but instead it earned the fashion house's ire.
Louis Vuitton claims the production of the posters is "a serious wilful infringement" which "knowingly dilutes the LV Trademarks." It also claimed the university's authority might "mislead others into thinking this type of unlawful activity is somehow 'legal' or constitutes 'fair use.'"
But as you might expect, the university is well versed in the legalities of this issue. It claims that while trademark regulations exist, so do laws protecting the right to parody and satire. That's particularly true when the satire is educational or created for non-commercial purposes.
It seems University of Pennsylvania Law School has no hard feelings though. They've invited Louis Vuitton representatives to attend the lecture and learn more about fashion law!
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