MOB bag a parody of Louis Vuitton - parody in trademark law

The court in New York has opened the door for parody in trademark law. My other Bag sells canvas bags with the test “My Other Bag” on the front and a drawing of a Louis Vuitton bag on the back side. The bag refers to the “my other car…” bumper stickers that were popular in the 70’s. Cars used to drive around with this sticker suggesting that the owner had another more luxurious car like a Mercedes. A joke that many Americans still remember today. Louis Vuitton does not appreciate the joke and files a lawsuit.

Its claim is based on its trademark and design rights. Use would be damaging to the image of Louis Vuitton and it would lead to dilution. My Other Bag claims that it is a parody that should be allowed. The consumer will immediately notice that it is a joke and no confusion can occur. The court agrees with this. “Louis Vuitton is … an active and aggressive enforcer of its trademark rights. In some cases, however, it is better to “accept the implied compliment in [a] parody” and to smile or laugh than it is to sue.” In the Netherlands Louis Vuitton would almost certainly have won the case. Parody may be a defence, but only if there is no financial gain.

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PURE - MENTOS

MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Infringement or not?
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