“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.