Courts bar Gucci relatives from using its trademark in the US

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Gucci Brand

US district judges have ruled that relatives of the Gucci family can no longer market products using a similar trademark to that used by the Gucci business.

The decision was taken against Jennifer Gucci, the ex-wife of former company chief designer Paolo Gucci, and their daughter Gemma Gucci.

Jennifer and Gemma Gucci control a business that markets a range of luxury cosmetics, foods and fashion items under the Gucci name and sometimes in combination with the trademark green and red stripe.

Little Gucci and Big Gucci

In court papers Jennifer Gucci compared her business as ‘Little Gucci’ to ‘Big Gucci’, referring to Gucci America.

However, US District Judge Richard Berman did not view the distinction in the same light and particularly cited the use of the red and green striped logo alongside the Gucci name as being ‘confusingly similar’ to that used by Gucci America.

The owner of the Gucci brand, French fashion and retail house PPR, took the decision to make the legal action because of the potential damage to its brand in the US, choosing to sue the two Gucci women and their licensing agent by seeking unspecified damages.

Court papers cite willful infringement

“The court concludes that Gucci has proved that defendants willfully infringed and diluted the Gucci trademark,”​ the court papers revealed.

The ruling now prohibits the Gucci women from trading under their names to promote a number of product categories, including cosmetics, handbags, wine and coffee.

News of the Gucci law case comes in the same week that Colgate-Palmolive has taken court action against two oral care providers over their use of its Total brand name.

Colgate sues over Total brand name

The company is suing both Johnson & Johnson and Chattem over claimed misuse of its toothpaste brand Total, following marketing agreements that were made a number of years ago but were not renewed.

The company filed two separate lawsuits in New York City courts, both of which claim that the brand name has been used in ‘violation’ of its registered trademark, a Reuters article claimed.

Both companies carry oral care lines that bear the Total name in their branding, including Johnson & Johnson’s Listerine Total care product line, as well as Chattem’s Act Total Care Mouthwash.

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