When I was a young, stupid, and spoiled tween, I wanted a Louis Vuitton bag, because all the other young, stupid, and spoiled tweens I knew had one. My parents could not and would not purchase me a multi-hundred dollar handbag, so I bought a $20 knockoff and told everyone it was real. No one believed me! I was so sad.
Now, it appears a new generation of young humans are being introduced to Louis Vuitton’s signature bags, though in a slightly more creative way—via this season’s “hottest” selling toy, a “Poopsie Pooey Puitton Slime Surprise Kit and Carrying Case” that looks a lot like the handbags I coveted in middle school. Unlike those, though, it is shaped like poo and filled with slime. Like my knockoff bag, it is made of plastic. Louis Vuitton is not happy.
The Fashion Law blog reports that toy company MGA Entertainment filed a preemptive suit against Louis Vuitton in Los Angeles’s federal court, alleging Pooey Puitton does not violate the bag company’s trademark. Apparently, per the suit, earlier this month Louis Vuitton claimed “that the Pooey name and Pooey product infringed upon or diluted one or more of Louis Vuitton trademarks,” so to spare Pooey Puitton’s life, MGA Entertainment struck first.
The toy company’s argument is that Pooey Puitton—currently sold out on Target’s website, DRAT—can’t possibly violate Louis Vuitton’s trademark, because there’s no way anyone would mistake a plastic poo bag for a $1K luxury item. Per The Fashion Law:
In an attempt to preemptively shut down any potential claims of trademark infringement that Louis Vuitton might lodge against it and/or any of the retailers stocking its popular toy, Los Angeles-based MGA asserts that “no reasonable consumer would mistake the Pooey product for a Louis Vuitton handbag” due to the differences in price, materials, marketing, stockists, and purpose of the two parties’ products. (Note: Likelihood of confusion – or mistake – is the central inquiry in a trademark infringement claim).
In addition to the unlikely case of consumers thinking that the Pooey Puitton product was affiliated with Louis Vuitton, MGA claims that “no reasonable consumer would mistake the Pooey product” – a “poop-shaped [carrying case] made out of hardened plastic,” complete with “multiple storage compartments” and ingredients for making “magical unicorn poop (slime)” – as “being intended to be used as a handbag” or to be used by adults.
MGA Entertainment also claims it is exempt from trademark infringement because Pooey Puitton is, in fact, a parody of Louis Vuitton. Per the suit:
The use of the Pooey name and product in association with a product line of ‘magical unicorn poop’ is intended to criticize or comment upon the rich and famous, and the Louis Vuitton name, the LV marks, and on their conspicuous consumption
So, to recap, 2018's hottest Christmas gift for child is a $59 poo-shaped plastic toy that is actually antifa! In fact, if you think real hard about it, this entire saga is essentially a metaphor for our current political and socioeconomic state, a Swiftian tale, if you will. Or perhaps my brain is too broken by the Grittys of the world to separate one corporate-backed false socialist flag from another. Dear god, let it be 2019 already.
Anyway, your move, Louis.