Gucci and Guess Head to Court Over Alleged Trademark Infringement


Photos: Saks.com | Zappos.com
The Gucci Dice Continental Wallet, $385, at Saks.com (top) and The Guess Coventry Slim Clutch, $38 at Zappos.com (bottom).

Where's Claudia Schiffer when you need her?

While the rest of the world was drooling over its reunion with the German supermodel for its 30th anniversary campaign, Guess spent March 28 facing off in federal court against a formidable opponent: Gucci.

After filing a trademark infringement lawsuit against Guess and its footwear licensee, Mark Fisher Footwear, in 2009, the Italian label finally had its day in court, Women's Wear Daily reports.

Trial proceedings have kicked off in a U.S. District Court in New York City, with both labels delivering their opening statements as to whether or not Guess violated Gucci trademarks such as green and red stripes, diamond logos, and the block letter "G."

“This case is not about following fashion trends,” Gucci's attorney Louis Ederer told the court, accusing the "midmarket" Guess of copying more than $200 million in Gucci wares.

“It’s about a massive, complicated scheme to knock off Gucci’s best-known and iconic designs.”

According to Ederer, Guess' designs showed a "clear intent" to get customers to "think it's Gucci."

Guess was also no doubt licking its wounds over comments from its own attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, who argued that the brand was far less high-end than Gucci.

"Guess doesn’t slap a house name on a product, Guess screams its name, it surrounds you,” Petrocelli said. “Gucci uses leather, Guess uses plastic, that’s why it costs 100 bucks.”

While acknowledging that Guess stopped production on a red-and-green-striped shoe after Gucci cried foul, Petrocelli dismissed the idea that his client should be responsible for "years and years" of allegedly similar designs.

"Guess is not Gucci,” he added. “It has no reason to be like Gucci and it did not scheme to be like Gucci.”

The trial is expected to last three weeks. May the best G win!

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