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Knock Off the Knock Offs: Gucci Wins $4.6M Judgment from Guess

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By Robyn Hagan Cain on May 22, 2012 10:07 AM

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it's also cause for damages in a trademark infringement lawsuit.

Monday, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled in favor of Gucci on four of five contested issues in the companies' trademark infringement litigation. Gucci had claimed that Guess and its licensees knocked off Gucci designs, producing items that featured the brand's diamond-shaped logoed pattern, square "G" design, a signature script and tri-striped motif, reports Women's Wear Daily.

Scheindlin ruled that Guess, in certain products, infringed all the trademarks except for the name in flowing script. She said Guess must stop selling products with colored stripes, a square G and a pattern with G in the corners, reports Bloomberg.

The Big Gs of the fashion world did not mince words during their three-week trademark infringement trial. Gucci attorney Louis Ederer argued in court that Guess's "entire business model" was to copy Gucci as closely as possible without getting caught. WWD reports that Ederer told the court, "It's all an infringement ... It's all willful. It's knowing and deliberate every step of the way." Guess attorney Daniel Petrocelli dismissed the accusation, describing the script and square G designs in question as "weak trademarks" since other brands had similar designs.

Though Gucci sought as much as $120 million in damages, Judge Scheindlin awarded the Italian luxury giant $4.66 million, reports Reuters.

If Guess appeals, Gucci and Guess could be joining Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Louboutin in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals sooner than we anticipated.

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