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Louis Vuitton's 'Hangover' Lawsuit: Warner Bros Sued Over Fake Bag

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on December 28, 2011 9:01 AM

French fashion house Louis Vuitton has filed a Hangover lawsuit over a phony handbag. The brand has sued Warner Bros. over a scene where one of the characters from the hit movie misidentifies a fake Louis Vuitton for a real one.

Alan, played by Zach Galifianakis, utters the now-famous line: "Careful. That is a Louis Vuitton." Alan says this in reference to a faux LV-branded duffle.

Louis Vuitton has alleged trademark dilution, false designation of origin, and unfair competition.

Hangover Part II grossed more than $250 million in the U.S. alone. The flick also had an $80 million production budget. Why did they feel the need to purchase a phony Louis Vuitton? Clearly they had enough cash to afford a real one.

Producers might have been trying to opt for realism. It's implied in the film that Alan's duffle is actually a fake, according to the site Catwalk Queen. So, it's possible that they wanted to emulate a fake Louis Vuitton bag. What better way than to buy one?

So what would draw more ire from Louis Vuitton? Using a phony Louis Vuitton bag or using a real LV bag?

It seems that the fashion house might have been displeased either way.

It's also unclear if they will prevail. "Famous" trademark holders can sue in federal court. Owners can sue either if the mark is "blurred" or "tarnished." Blurring occurs when two goods can be confused. Tarnishing occurs when a good suffers harm when associated with inferior products.

Did the French fashion house's trademark suffer when Zach Galifianakis' character said the fake Louis Vuitton was a real one? Even if it was implied the duffle was a fake? These are the questions a court will have to answer in the Louis Vuitton Hangover lawsuit.

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