Louis Vuitton brought a trademark, trade dress and related torts action against Burlington Coat Factory, for selling a handbag that, Burlington conceded, ‘brought to mind’ LV’s Murakami Multicolore handbag. The District Court judge denied LV’s motion for preliminary relief, relying in part on the observation that consumers would not be confused in side-by-side comparisons of the bags. The Second Circuit overturned. If the products are not sold side-by-side (as the parties here agreed they were not), then it is legally erroneous to rely on side-by-side impressions. The proper analysis is whether the overall impressions of the products leads to confusion upon serial viewing.
Tidbit: LV has sold 47,000 Multicolore bags in the U.S. to date, totaling $25 million in sales.
Louis Vuitton Malletier v. Burlington Coat Factory, 04-2907 (2d Cir, Oct 12 2005).