Film / (web) Serie

Warner Bros. suied by Louis Vuitton over “Hangover 2”

“The Hangover: Part II” continues to be plagued by legal problems. Most recently, Louis Vuitton filed a trademark infringement suit against the movie for what the designer brand describes as a offending product placement.

A character in the film uses a fake Louis Vuitton bag. In the scene, Alan (played by Zach Galifianakis) warns another character to stay away from his fake bag: “Careful, that is.. that is a Louis Vuitton” (pronouncing Louis with the “s”) . For comedic purposes, Alan mispronounces the brand name.

The scene was not received well by the designer bag maker Louis Vuitton, filing a complaint against Warner Bros. for trademark dilution, false designation of origin, and unfair competition. Warner Bros. used fakes created by Diophy, a company that produces faux luxury bags, and that Vuitton is already suing.

Warner Bros. may not have understood the problems of counterfeit production.  Dana Thomas, author of “Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster” states that counterfeiting rakes in approximately $600 billion a year and the secretive and corrupt industry supports human trafficking, prostitution, child labor, gang warfare, drug smuggling and money laundering linked to global terrorism.

In addition to the filed cases, Louis Vuitton demanded that the scene be altered for the comedy movie’s DVD release. Unfortunately, it fell on deaf ears.

Prior to this, the film also had legal problems for using a tattoo that resembled the one designed by Mike Tyson’s tattoo expert. The case was eventually settled.

If Warner Bros. ends up losing the case filed by Louis Vuitton, it could greatly hurt the studio. The luxury brand wants the studio to surrender all copies of the film in addition to damages.

2 thoughts on “Warner Bros. suied by Louis Vuitton over “Hangover 2”

  1. Really silly move. The short from the film has nothing to do with counterfeiting i think. In fact it is indeed a brand placement – the fact that many can not pronounce Vooitton is obvious. Producers might have bought the bag from an illegal source, but what does it have to do with placement??

    Currently Louis Vuitton has a horrible image of an obviously expensive luggage demonstrating ones wealth, Vertu of luggage, attribute to someone like Mr and Mme Jourdin from Morliere’s “Le Bourgeois Gentil-Homme”. Placement in Hangover II plays a great deal of approaching this ambiguous brand to proper consumer. Thats what I think as a marketeer with experience.

    If i would be a marketing guy working for claimant I would be happy. Honest.
    And to disclaim – Nothing in this post is meant to offend Louis Vuitton, its designers, marketeers and owners, this represents a private professional opinion of an independent consultant.

    • I agree with you, but many brands (even if they agree for a placement in the first place) cannot control how the product will be placed.
      Maybe Louis Vuitton did not give its agreement for this placement, or did not sign a contract…who knows?
      I guess they just fight not to have the same image problem as Lacoste had many years ago. Most of the “chavs” have a fake LV bag now and it does not give a good image to the brand. I don’t have any data to confirm it, but I think this brand is the most sold in terms of counterfeiting. However I agree with you, suing Warner Bros is absolutely not the answer to this counterfeiting problem. I consider this “joke” from the film pretty funny and relevant but maybe LV’s lawyers have no sense of humour😉

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