Louis Vuitton reaches settlement with Sony BMG for infringement cases

Mumbai: Louis Vuitton Malletier has concluded a worldwide settlement agreement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment under which Sony BMG has agreed to refrain from future activity involving Louis Vuitton’s intellectual property.

This settlement agreement resolves all claims by Louis Vuitton against Sony BMG regarding the unauthorized use by Sony BMG labels concerning the artists Da Brat, Britney Spears, and Ruben Studdard, of Louis Vuitton’s trademarks and copyrights, including the world famous Toile Monogram and Multicolore trademarks.

Specifically, over the past five years, Louis Vuitton had filed lawsuits in the District Court of Paris seeking injunctive relief and damages for trademark counterfeiting and infringement, unfair competition, injury to business reputation and false and deceptive business practices arising out of the sale and offer for sale of DVDs, video clips and CDs bearing Louis Vuitton intellectual property by the artist Da Brat and a clip video on CDs by Britney Spears and had received favorable judgments in each case, totaling €154,000.

Following these cases, Louis Vuitton subsequently alleged that Sony BMG had distributed, offered for sale and sold certain CDs of the artist Ruben Studdard’s album, The Return, bearing unauthorized reproductions, copies and /or colorable imitations of the Louis Vuitton intellectual property.

Louis Vuitton intellectual property director Nathalie Moulle-Berteaux said, "We are very pleased to have successfully resolved these matters in a manner that protects our brand and our customers. We believe the terms of this agreement will provide strong protection to our brand worldwide, and we are gratified that Sony BMG has agreed to educate its record labels about our trademarks and copyrights in order to prevent the misuse of our intellectual property in the future."

Under the terms of the agreement, Sony BMG has agreed, among other things, to:

* Make a settlement payment to Louis Vuitton for the Ruben Studdard CD, the amount of which will not be disclosed, and the amount of €97,000 outstanding from the Da Brat and Britney Spears judgments in France.

* Cease the importation, distribution, offer for sale, shipment and/or manufacture of, or otherwise trafficking in the Ruben Studdard "The Return" CD, or any other products bearing the Louis Vuitton intellectual property or any counterfeits or infringements thereof.

* Acknowledge the validity of the Louis Vuitton intellectual property.
* Use its best efforts to educate its various record labels as to the Louis Vuitton intellectual property such that when developing products, they will be in a position to refrain from developing and selling products bearing the Louis Vuitton intellectual property.

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