A federal judge has dismissed Louis Vuitton's lawsuit against Warner Brothers over knockoff handbags in a scene in their movie “The Hangover Part II.”
"Be careful, that is … that is a Lewis Vuitton," was the line in question, uttered by the character played by Zach Galifianakis, as he admonishes another character for rough treatment of his bag.
Louis Vuitton was none to happy with the scene, and alleged that it harmed its brand by infringing its marks and creating consumer confusion. Louis Vuitton says the bag featured in the film was actually made by the Chinese-American company Diophy and demanded millions of dollars from an alleged violation of the Lanham Act.
The judge dismissed the case, essentially because the bag was a prop in a fictional comedy; was intended to be funny, not malicious; and cited the 1st Amendment right to free speech. "The court concludes that Louis Vuitton's allegations of confusion are not plausible, let alone 'particularly compelling,' " the judge wrote in summary.
For more of the legal details of the judgment, check out the Hollywood Reporter’s coverage of the ruling.