This time it is Pennsylvania Law School over the school’s use of Vuitton marks on an invitation and poster for a fashion law symposium.
Law.com reports that Michael Pantalony, Louis Vuitton’s director of civil enforcement for North America, penned a letter to the law school’s dean, Michael Fitts, about the issue.
Pantalony wrote that he was “dismayed” to learn that a school student organization, the Penn Intellectual Property Group, had “misappropriated and modified” the company’s trademarks in its “toile monogram.” The monogram is made up of the initials LV and three trademarked design elements.
Pantalony added that the Law School’s actions is a “serious willful infringement” that knowingly dilutes the company’s trademarks and may mislead others into thinking such actions are fair use: “People seeing the invitation/poster may believe that Louis Vuitton either sponsored the seminar or was otherwise involved, and approved the misuse of its trademarks in the manner. I would have thought the Penn Intellectual Property Group, and its faculty advisors, would understand the basics of intellectual property law and know better than to infringe and dilute the famous trademarks of fashion brands, including the LV Trademarks, for a symposium on fashion law.”
The letter ended that the school must cease using the invitation/poster and to contact Louis Vuitton.
Mark Schonfeld, a partner at Boston-based Burns & Levinson, whose practice includes trademark law and fashion matters, said, “I would have thought that Penn Law School, which is one of the finest law schools in the country, would have known better than to engage in unauthorized use of one of the world’s most famous trademarks.” Schonfeld occasionally represents Louis Vuitton, but isn’t involved in this matter.