Personal name collision often leads to misunderstanding and embarrassment, and brand and brand name collision often lead to lawsuits.
The luxury brand Valentino has competed twice in Italy and the United States this year with another brand Mario Valentino.
Valentino and Mario Valentino are Italian brands with decades of history. Mario Valentino founded the eponymous brand in 1952. The products are mainly shoes and bags. Celebrities such as Jacqueline Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor have been customers of the brand. Well-known fashion designer Valentino Garavani founded the luxury brand Valentino in 1960, a fashion house known for its gorgeous and exquisite haute couture dresses, handbags and shoes are also Valentino’s iconic products.
Because the brand names are too similar, it is easy to confuse consumers. Valentino and Mario Valentino reached an agreement in 1979, stipulating how the two parties should use the brand name and logo in handbags and accessories.
According to the fashion media The Fashion Law, the 1979 agreement stipulates that Mario Valentino can use the “V”, “MV”, “Valentino”, “Mario Valentino” logo on handbags, and Mario Valentino needs to be on the inside of the handbag and all handbags. The “Mario Valentino” logo is used on the outer packaging to avoid misunderstanding by consumers.
In early 2019, Valentino sued Mario Valentino in Milan, Italy, for violating the above regulations. In May, the court ruled that Mario Valentino failed to abide by the contract and stated that Mario Valentino cannot use the two “V” and “Valentino” marks on the product at the same time. The outer packaging must use the “Mario Valentino” logo.
Perhaps encouraged by the Italian ruling, Valentino subsequently filed a more vocal and tougher lawsuit in a federal court in California in June.
Valentino also sued Mario Valentino and its U.S. licensor March Capital in court, stating that their promotion took advantage of Valentino’s reputation in the US handbag market, and stated that Mario Valentino and March Capital used their handbags in marketing and selling handbags. Packaging and other materials (such as product catalogs) claim that the bags come from “Valentino”, which violates the agreement between the two brands.
Also, Valentino stated that the defendants (Mario Valentino and March Capital) have significantly increased the price of their bags to make their products look indeed related to Valentino, and the defendants’ bags also copied Valentino’s patented design, To achieve the purpose of making consumers mistakenly think that the defendant’s product comes from Valentino, or otherwise related to Valentino.
Valentino submitted several pieces of evidence. Mario Valentino’s official press release mentioned “Valentino” 20 times, and “Mario Valentino” appeared only twice, one of which was at the end of the press release. Mario Valentino also used phrases such as “Valentino one of the top brands in the world”, which Valentino described as misleading. Also, Mario Valentino claims that the address of the Mario Valentino handbags website is valentinobags.com, which easily makes consumers think that this is Valentino’s website, which not only hurts Valentino’s image but also makes Mario Valentino obtain a lot of sales.
Valentino claims that Mario Valentino’s actions have and will bring economic and reputational damage to Valentino because handbags are already an extremely important business for the Valentino brand, which has contributed more than $ 700 million in sales to the brand in the past 5 years, of which Sales in the US market exceed $ 100 million.
After Valentino filed the lawsuit, Mario Valentino and March Capital asked Judge John Kronstadt to dismiss the lawsuit, stating that Valentino misled the facts and asked the court to postpone the lawsuit until the parties’ lawsuits in Italy were completely concluded.
In early December, Valentino submitted a 50-page document asking the court to dismiss the defendant’s motion, stating that the court should not postpone the lawsuit because the Italian lawsuit is only a small part of the dispute between the two parties and the extension will allow the defendant to “continue to use Valentino Of goodwill, which can lead to irreparable harm. “
It is reported that the California District Court will decide on the above issues in early 2020, and the name war between Valentino and Mario Valentino is pending.