Warner Bros. is facing a federal lawsuit from Louis Vuitton. The lawsuit is over a comment made by funny-man, Zach Galifianakis in the soon to be released blockbuster: The Hangover II, as well charges of false advertisement and consumer confusion.
Apparently, purse snatching is something not only found on busy city streets but in Hollywood movies as well. Too bad for Warner Bros. that they grabbed a fake bag! In their most popular, new released film, The Hangover II, a comment is made by one of the main characters played by actor Zach Galifianakis, about his luggage. “Careful, that’s a Louis Vuitton,” says Galifianakis, a catchphrase that has caught on as a popular culture one-liner, much to the displeasure of Louis Vuitton.
The fashion and handbag company has issued a statement saying that the luggage portrayed in the film not only has a mispronounced brand name by Galifianakis, but is also a counterfeit. Funny though the scene may be, the use of the brand name with a fake bag has resulted in a federal lawsuit from Louis Vuitton.
The designer company had spoken to Warner Bros. and had asked them prior to the lawsuit to edit the film before its distribution. With technology being as advanced as it is, this would have been an expensive but easily manageable feat for Warner Bros. to complete to avoid the legal paperwork that would result otherwise.
But, according to a report from Paid Content’s Jeff Roberts, the studio chose to accept the lawsuit and is not going down without a fight. The handbag in question was, “made by a Chinese American firm called Diophy,” a distributor that is also being sued by Louis Vuitton. Bringing their charges to the International Trade Commission, Louis Vuitton is attempting to get Diophys, “knock-off products banned from the United States.” And as much as they would like to do the same to Warner Bros., the studio is not backing down.
Warner Bros. may be getting ahead of themselves, but they are confidant enough to tango with similar settlement issues. Prior to the Louis Vuitton lawsuit, Warner Bros. “faced” a design copyright infringement for a tattoo design used in the same film. During part of the film, a commonly recognized face tattoo is replicated on the face of another main character.
The tattoo, apparently, had been the same design used by professional boxer Mike Tyson, and the tattoo artist who originally, “inked” Tyson wanted reparations and also asked the studio to change the image digitally before the release of the film. The studio actually bent for this complaint and altered the tattoo prior to the release. But the Louis Vuitton request for alteration and compensation has not been met with the same kind of dignity.
Louis Vuitton plans to follow through with the lawsuit, and hopes to expose the studio for being hypocrites to their own causes of SOPA support. Warner Bros. has spoken out against piracy many times in the past, and has been an avid supporter of SOPA, and here they are now, guilty of the same kinds of crimes they claim to be fighting against. If the federal court case is won by Louis Vuitton, it could spell disaster for Warner Bros. and their reputation.
Author Byll Monahan, 24, is a graduate from Cabrini College in Radnor, PA. He hopes his readers will continue to follow the “Wolf Pack” despite their pirating ways!