After four years of litigation, Guess has been acquitted of trademark violations against Gucci. In 2009, the Italian design house accused the American denim brand of copying, among other things, Gucci’s interlocking “G” logo.
Gucci filed in both New York and Milan against Guess for counterfeiting, unfair competition and trademark infringement. In 2012, New York courts found in favor of Gucci, eventually awarding the house $457,183 in damages (initially, the courts awarded Gucci $4.7 million). On Gucci’s home turf, however, Milan courts have now ruled in favor of Guess.
Predictably, Gucci has released a statement expressing their disappointment in the ruling, and says they will appeal. “Gucci firmly believes that the decision of the court of Milan is extremely incorrect,” said the statement. “In Gucci’s view, such decision does not take into account that Guess’ use of trademarks similar to Gucci’s ones famous, well-known and appreciated around the world–displays an unlawful and parasitic free-riding on Gucci’s trademarks.”
Paul Marciano, Guess’s CEO, called Gucci’s behavior “bullying,” and claimed that Gucci has stopped at nothing to thwart Guess. “Because of their endless resources, Gucci has been forum shopping all over the world to try and stop Guess from expanding its successful accessories business,” he said. “It’s fundamentally wrong and unconscionable.”