Louis Vuitton loses copyright infringement lawsuit: 3 things to know

Louis Vuitton lost a copyright infringement lawsuit against Jocelyn Imbert (Image via Louis Vuitton)
Louis Vuitton lost a copyright infringement lawsuit against Jocelyn Imbert (Image via Louis Vuitton)

French luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton (LV) has reportedly been ordered to pay a massive compensation fee to settle a long-running copyright infringement dispute.

A Paris appeal court dictated that the LVMH-owned company must pay approximately $1 million for the settlement of the seven-year legal battle.

The jury ordered the fashion label to pay the complete amount to designer Jocelyn Imbert, with whom the brand was in dispute. The parent company and its sub-brand have declined to comment on the latest court order.

The month of March has been a little difficult for LV. The brand recently faced heavy criticism from social media users for its latest Volt Fine Jewelry collection. Many users pointed out that the LV initials used in the collection’s bracelets were similar to Russia's pro-war 'Z' symbol.

Three facts about Louis Vuitton’s lost lawsuit battle

1) LV’s pact with Jocelyn Imbert

It all started back in 1988 when designer Jocelyn Imbert invented a trailblazer lock system for LV. Imbert called her unique lock feature “LV Tournant.” It was exclusively designed for LV’s Malletier.

In 1992, both parties entered into an agreement, which specified the terms and conditions for the legitimate use of Imbert’s creation.

The contract stated that if the label uses Jocelyn’s lock system for any new lineup, it will make a payment of $83,230 to the designer as a royalty fee.

2) Contract breached by the luxury fashion house

However, seven years ago (2014), Jocelyn Imbert became aware of the label’s copyright infringement. She found that her formulated design was being unfairly incorporated into various new LV designs with a twisted structure.

LV had allegedly been using Jocelyn’s lock feature continuously without paying any royalties. After noticing this, she decided to take legal action against the fashion house.

3) Action taken against Louis Vuitton

When the lawsuit first reached the court, the judges refused to proceed further with the case.

While speaking to Vogue Business, Jocelyn’s legal representative Jean-Philippe Hugot said:

“To summarize Louis Vuitton’s position, they claim that the 1992 agreement enables them to exploit my client’s creation on every product. Needless to say we strongly disagree with this. My client always expected a negotiation.”

Later, the court reversed its initial stance and delivered its verdict on the matter.

The jury ordered LV to pay $992,709 to the designer for the accumulated royalty payments. With this order, the longstanding legal dispute has finally come to an end.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh