Time for a Fashion PSA: never try to use the name "Gucci"... even if it's your own name.
Guccio Gucci and Alessandro Gucci, brothers and grandsons of Gucci founder Guccio Gucci, learned that the hard way. The pair have fallen victim to a lawsuit brought against them by the Gucci Group, which alleged that their company, ToBeG Srl, was using the names “Gucci” and “Guccio Gucci” in marketing strategies. According to Women's Wear Daily, a judge in Florence ruled against the brothers, deciding that use of the name “Guccio Gucci” took unfair advantage of Gucci's preexisting brand reputation and could cause "confusion" for customers.
If this all sounds vaguely familiar, that's because we've been here before. In 2009, an American judge forbade Jenny and Gemma Gucci -- ex-wife and daughter to Paolo Gucci, Guccio Gucci's grandson (and brother to Guccio and Alessandro) -- from using the family name as well. The mother-daughter pair were accused of using the name "Gucci" and the signature red and green stripe on a variety of products, including a jewelry line called "Gemma by Gemma Gucci." Gucci sued the women for trademark infringement and won.
This latest trademark win for Gucci comes on the heels of its victory against Guess, which engaged the Italian fashion brand in a drawn-out court battle over several instances of trademark infringement (most notably, using those famous interlocking G's). Ultimately Gucci was awarded $4.66 million dollars, representing the profit Guess made from using certain unauthorized Gucci trademarks, and was granted a permanent injunction against Guess' use of three of the four challenged designs.
Lesson learned? Don't use the name "Gucci," interlocking G's or red and green stripes without asking permission first. Because it will cost you a pretty penny.
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