Toy­maker takes Louis Vuit­ton to court over pooey par­ody

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Palm Beach (Sunday) - - Classified - By Tay­lor Telford The Washington Post

Toy­maker MGA En­ter­tain­ment has dragged French fash­ion house Louis Vuit­ton into a law­suit that shows how cut­ting cul­tural commentary some­times comes in sur­pris­ing pack­ages.

Poop-shaped pack­ages, to be ex­act.

MGA is pre-emp­tively su­ing Louis Vuit­ton’s par­ent com­pany, lux­ury sta­ble LVMH, to en­sure it can keep mak­ing “Poop­sie Pooey Puit­ton,” its slime-filled plas­tic purse. Ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments filed last week in Los An­ge­les fed­eral court, Louis Vuit­ton has claimed the toy’s design is a trade­mark in­fringe­ment be­cause its design marks and name are sim­i­lar to those of Louis Vuit­ton hand­bags. MGA ar­gues not only is the toy ob­vi­ously not a Louis Vuit­ton knock­off, but it was meant to slime the life­style of the ul­tra­wealthy con­sumers who as­cribe to the brand and thus should be pro­tected as par­ody.

“Louis Vuit­ton and the LV Marks are as­so­ci­ated with ex­pen­sive, high-end, lux­ury prod­ucts that evoke wealth and celebrity,” MGA’s coun­sel said in the com­plaint. “The use of the Pooey name and prod­uct in as­so­ci­a­tion with a prod­uct line of ‘mag- ical 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.”

The toy is part of a line of Poop­sie Sur­prise prod­ucts, which in­clude in­gre­di­ents to make sparkly, mag­i­cal “unicorn poop.”

It was one of MGA’s most suc­cess­ful new toys last year, ac­cord­ing to court docu- ments.

In a sur­real com­plaint (in which the word “poop” ap­pears at least 25 times), MGA de­liv­ered a de­tailed anal­y­sis of why no rea­son­able con­sumer would ever con­fuse Pooey Puit­ton for an ac­tual Louis Vuit­ton prod­uct.

“Louis Vuit­ton hand­bags are not poop-shaped, are not made out of hard­ened plas­tic, and do not de­pict three­d­i­men­sional car­toon­ish fa­cial fea­tures such as elon- gated eye­lashes and pouted lips.”

The com­plaint con­tin­ues: “Louis Vuit­ton hand­bags are not man­u­fac­tured with the sole in­ten­tion of stor­ing in­gre­di­ents and ma­te­ri­als for the cre­ation of slime or ‘mag­i­cal unicorn poop.’

“Louis Vuit­ton hand­bags are lux­ury items typ­i­cally sold at price points sig­nif­i­cantly higher than that of the Pooey Prod­uct’s sug­gested re­tail price of $59.99.”

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