Louis Vuitton in Paris

The man behind LVL XIII shoes has issued a formal complaint against international luxury goods retailer  Louis Vuitton alleging trademark infringement.   The lawsuit alleges that by copying a unique portion of his very popular design, that Louis Vuitton has in essence directly stolen his original design idea and represented it as their own.  LVL XIII uses a metal nameplate across the toe box of their popular shoes and the designer is claiming that Vuitton is doing damage to his growing brand by borrowing this detail.


Antonio Brown launched LVL XIII shoes in 2013 but has already seem success and some rapid growth with a number of popular celebrities, like supermodel Tyson Beckford, being fans of his stylish footwear.  Brown claims that his metal nameplates have been a signature piece of his design and that a major brand like Louis Vuitton taking it to use in some of their styles is causing his brand to appear as a copycat which could damage his reputation and potentially cost him sales.


The claim, filed in the US Southern District Court of New York hasn’t officially been addressed, but representatives from Louis Vuitton have commented that the lawsuit has no merit and that the brand is prepared to defend itself against the allegations.  Vuitton is a very well respected high fashion brand with more than a century and a half of clout when it comes to designer shoes but the brand has been involved in a similar situation previously.  As part of a claim in 2009, Vuitton discontinued a style of footwear after a claim was filed that the design was essentially a direct copy of a shoe designed by New Balance.


Facing off against an industry giant like Louis Vuitton can be an intimidating proposition – even if history has shown that they can be battled and beaten in a court of law.  Copyright infringement laws can be complex and confusing and winning any case requires a deep understanding of the verbiage, history and precedents of the laws in question.  If you are concerned that another brand (international or local) may be benefiting from your design or if you have direct proof that another company has taken your idea and is using it as their own you need to reach out to an experienced Los Angeles business attorney.


Federal and state laws prohibit copyright infringement, which can include the misappropriation, passing off, piracy, or counterfeiting of works of movies, music, art, writings, photographs, recordings, and other tangible expressions.  When a copyright holder sues a user of the work for infringement, the user may argue in defense that the use was not infringement but “fair use.” Under the fair use doctrine, it is not an infringement to use the copyrighted works of another in some circumstances, such as for commentary, criticism, news reporting, or educational use. The defense generally depends on a case-by-case judgment of the facts.


Axis Legal Counsel offers aggressive representation to copyright, trademark, patent, and other intellectual property rights holders involved in infringement or intellectual property disputes, whether connected to the entertainment industry or technology sector. Axisassists clients in applying for intellectual property protection as well as litigating disputes. Axis’s managing attorney Rabeh M. A. Soofi is ranked as one of the “Top Women Lawyers of Southern California” by SuperLawyers, and counsels clients in need of legal counsel for copyright and copyright disputes.


For information on retaining Axis Legal Counsel for legal advice on any intellectual property dispute, contact info@axislegalca.com or call (213) 403-0130 for a confidential consultation about your legal issue.