Do not mess with LV, or you can end up in court - this is the message clearly sent by the brand.
Louis Vuitton, one of the world’s best-known luxury brands, has sued the Seoul-based Hyundai over its Super Bowl ad. The ad which has stirred up so much debate shows the Hyundai Sonata being driven through a seemingly mid-class neighbourhood. To demonstrate that everyone can afford luxury now, the residents of the neighbourhood are shown with yachts in their back-yards, police officers lunching on caviar in their patrol cars and workers eating lobsters in a cafeteria. The ad also shows a group of men playing basketball with a ball decorated with a pattern similar to the “LV” logo.
At first sight it seems that Louis Vuitton has nothing to complain about - tens of millions of people have watched the Super Bowl game, and the brand has benefited from free publicity. But apparently, the company is not exactly keen on the association between LV products and Hyundai cars. The complaint says that the Hyundai’s ad dilutes the distinctiveness of the LV trademarks and creates a false association between the brands. The company seems very determined and seeks punitive damages, pulling of the ad from running and other remedies.
This is not the first time when Louis Vuitton protects its trademark in court. Known for its travel handbags, handbags and leather goods, the company has sued notable companies before. For instance, the use of a dashboard decorated with the Louis Vuitton pattern in a Britney Spears video got Sony BMG and MTV Online in trouble – they were fined 80,000 euros each.