Gucci wins $4.66 million, ban on Guess knock-offs

Mon May 21, 2012 9:10pm EDT
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By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) - A U.S. judge said Gucci may recover just $4.66 million in its lawsuit accusing apparel retailer Guess Inc of copying its trademarked designs, a small fraction of the more than $120 million sought by the Italian luxury goods company.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin said that while Guess infringed some trademarks, Gucci was not entitled to damages reflecting lost sales or harm to its brand, calling an analysis from its damages expert "highly speculative."

She also awarded Gucci, a unit of Paris-based PPR SA, a permanent injunction against Guess' use of three of the four challenged designs. The payout reflects profit from specific items where Gucci trademarks were infringed.

Gucci had accused Guess of trying to "Gucci-ize" its product line by selling wallets, belts, shoes and other items whose designs copied or mimicked its own. It claimed that this confused customers and diluted its brand.

Louis Ederer, a lawyer for Gucci, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Paul Marciano, CEO of Guess, said in a statement the judgment showed Gucci had "overreached" and "misled the court with a number of facts that were unsupported by the evidence."

"Overall, we are extremely satisfied and vindicated that this case should have never been filed," Marciano said.

A lawyer for co-defendant Marc Fisher Footwear LLC, which the judge held responsible for some of the payout, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.   Continued...