A Counterfeit™ Brand Bag?
By: DEAN R. KARAU
If you like Louis Vuitton, and you can afford the price tag, you can go for the real thing:
A real Louis Vuitton bag
But if you can’t (or don’t want to) fork out hundreds of dollars, what about one of these options?
Or you really can’t bring yourself to buy Coco’s real deal:
A real Coco Chanel bag
Then can you be creative?
According to J. Thomas McCarthy, author of one of the most authoritative U.S. trademark treatise,
[c]ounterfeiting is the act of producing or selling a product with a sham trademark that is an intentional and calculated reproduction of the genuine trademark. A “counterfeit mark” is a false mark that is identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from, the genuine mark.
Often, counterfeit merchandise is made so as to imitate a well-known product in all details of construction and appearance so as to deceive customers into thinking that they are getting genuine merchandise. Thus, counterfeiting is “hard core” or “first degree” trademark infringement and is the most blatant and egregious form of “passing off.”
Odds are, none of the creative folks above are thinking in terms of “sham” or “false” or “deception.” Odds are, no one is being deceived. In the Vuitton cases, odds are, they’re on the right side of the law, but Coco could have a claim. But for either of these famous fashionistas, odds are they’d look pretty foolish if they tried to “bag” these folks.