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This article is written by Poonam Nahar, pursuing a Diploma in Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Laws from LawSikho.

History of establishment of Gucci

Guccio Gucci opened two leather goods stores on Via Vigna Nuova and later on Via del Parione in Florence, Italy, in 1921, which began the history of the most expensive company in the world. The House of Gucci was born. Gucci specializes in leather and accessories such as saddles and other horseback riding equipment, as well as luxury knitwear, silk products, watches, and handbags.

During the Second World War, due to a lack of materials due to the war effort, the label was required to use cotton to make their products. Around this time, the brand debuted its signature “Double-Gmonogram, as well as the now-iconic Gucci stripe, which consists of two green stripes separated by a single red border. The first signature pattern of small, interconnecting diamonds on a tan or dark brown background woven from hemp was developed. The Gucci Bamboo Bag was also invented around these times inspired by the shape of the saddle, the treatment of Japanese bamboo patented by the brand. Soon, the web of green and red bands on canvas became a signature icon of Gucci.

The GG house crest was adopted as a standard throughout the house’s growing range of accessories and apparel in 1955, when it became a registered trademark. Then, when it had opened outlets in Rome, the United States, Milan, and other countries, Gucci enjoyed unprecedented popularity as a label of choice for affluent tourists, Hollywood actors, and other well-heeled shoppers, famed for its lavish, opulent designs.

In1961, Jackie Kennedy was pictured carrying a slouchy Gucci handbag, which was quickly dubbed the ‘Jackie,’ establishing the brand as a household name.

In 1966, The Flora scarf was created for Princess Grace of Monaco. The delicate floral print became a signature known as “Gucci Flora” depicted through 37 vibrant colors that took the form of 43 types of flowers, plants and insects.

In 1975, The first Gucci fragrance Gucci No. 1 was launched and in 1981, the brand also debuted with their first ready-to-wear collection. Till then, it had also opened its stores at New York, Hong Kong, Florida, Tokyo, Paris, London & Beverly Hill.

In 1990, Tom Ford became responsible for all women’s wear before later becoming ‘Creative Director’.

Gucci appoints bag designer Frida Giannini as head of womenswear in 2000, and she later becomes the brand’s artistic director.

On Gucci’s 90th anniversary in 2010, artistic director Giannini collaborated with Fiat to introduce the ‘Fiat500’ and the ‘Riva Aquariva by Gucci’. In 2015, Giannini stepped down as Creative Director and was replaced by Alessandro Michelle. Five days before the AW15 presentation, he made an immediate splash by scrapping Giannini’s last menswear line and completely redesigning it. Michele’s Gucci establishes itself as a quirky, maximalist, and forward-thinking brand a month later with the launch of his first womenswear line.

Michele’s strategy for the brand was proven promising in 2017, when Gucci announced a massive boost in revenue, resulting in an 11 percent rise in sales for parent company Kering. To this day, Ot is one of the conglomerate’s top performers. Michelle has made a concerted attempt to integrate traditional Gucci motifs like flora and fauna into each new collection. Gucci has made a point of incorporating cultural references into looks and accessories since Michelle. Gucci has shifted its focus to luxury fantasy.

The 2018 Gartner L2 reports revealed Gucci as the leader in the world of digital and social media. Currently Gucci is owned by the French luxury group Kering. The horse feature was placed on Gucci’s iconic loafer which now occupies a place in the Costume Institute at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Gucci Beauty was relaunched in 2019 along with Memoire d’Une Odeur, the brand’s first unisex scent. Michele most recently revealed in May 2020 that Gucci will embrace season less fashion and abandon Fashion Week’s structure. It would also reduce the number of shows it produces per year, from five to just two.

This article deals with the objective of the discussion regarding the significance of the trademark of the Gucci brand and its logo design. 

Gucci logo design

In terms of luxury labels, the Gucci mark is probably the most familiar. Gucci is a high-end luxury label that specialises in high-end leather goods and clothes. One of Guccio’s three sons, Aldo Gucci, entered the company in 1933 and was the one who created the logo. The Gucci logo is a work of art that has been timeless and classic since its inception. It has since become the most iconic and unforgettable fashion logo ever made. The logo is recognized all over the world as a sign of grandeur and sincerity.

Gucci’s iconic double G logo uses the two interlocking, bold “G’s” of Guccio Gucci’s initials in a very imaginative and clever way. Gucci’s emblem has come to represent elegance and refinement.

Courtesy: https://blog.logomyway.com/gucci-logo/

Gucci as a brand and Trademark importance

Gucci is one of the most famous brands in the world right now, with a brand reputation that goes beyond fashion. The brand’s target audience can be found in music, the auto industry, make up, and even furniture buyers. Various components combine to create a brand reputation, such as design, manufacturing, and marketing. The licensing revenue is the income earned by the company or the brand for allowing through its trademark logo. Licensing is the best and easiest approach to turn intellectual property into the revenues likewise the Gucci’s logo would have an impact on the consumers while they decide to buy the luxury goods of the brands such as ‘Gucci’. Financial markets recognise these revenues of the brands as financial resources for the company. This is what allows the brand to charge high prices and establish additional value to its customers. As a top-class Italian designer, Gucci uses only high-quality raw materials and high production methods. Also, Gucci employs leading talents and top fashion designers to create pieces that never go out of style.

Trademarks are important in the fashion industry because they shield a brand name, profile, style, logos, and features of fashion attires that enable them to be distinguished from others. In the apparel industry, the core goals of trademark law are in high demand. It focuses on three major objectives: attracting customer curiosity, trademark owners’ interests, and market rivals.

Gucci’s mark, stripes, and other brands are trademarked, and ‘Trademarks are constitutionally licensed because they identify the origin of goods or services to customers.’ To put it another way, they act as root markers and prevent customers from being confused.’ Luxury brands have started to initiate and sustain long standing relationships with a new consumer class who is likely to become or remain affluent or ultra-affluent in the future. Likewise, the luxury brand ‘Gucci’ has grabbed dynamism by capitalizing the opportunity through engaging with Henry’s from new steps like #GucciGram where it collaborated with Instagram artists and #24HourAce where artists participated in Gucci’s video project and took over the company’s Snapchat account for an hour. 

Case law

Trademark Infringement case

Gucci v. Forever 21

In 2017, Italian luxury brand Gucci filed a lawsuit against fashion brand Forever 21, and claimed that the brand is willfully infringing Gucci’s trademark on their accessories, clothes and designs like stripes. If it escalates its rivalry with the American fast fashion chain notorious for stealing cues from designer stores, Forever 21 is accused of ripping off Gucci’s logo of ‘blue-red-blue’ and ‘green-red-green’ stripe webbing. A motion to dismiss Forever 21’s earlier lawsuit against Gucci’s threat of patent action, as well as counterclaims for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition, are included in the filing. If it escalates its rivalry with the American fast fashion chain notorious for stealing cues from designer stores, Forever 21 is accused of ripping off Gucci’s logo of ‘blue-red-blue’ and ‘green-red-green’ stripe webbing. A motion to dismiss Forever 21’s earlier lawsuit against Gucci’s threat of patent action, as well as counterclaims for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition, are included in the filing. As a result, the appeal was heard in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

The case is Gucci’s new attempt to protect its brands, following the retailer’s response to a barrage of cease-and-desist letters the luxury company sent about the use of the stripe webbing on many products. The case is Gucci’s new attempt to protect its brands, following the retailer’s response to a barrage of cease-and-desist letters the luxury company sent about the use of the stripe webbing on many products. A silver bomber jacket, a flower bomber jacket, a butterfly jumper, a green tiger pattern scarf, and a choker, all with striped webbing, are among the items. The products aren’t available on the Forever 21 website right now. The case is Gucci’s new attempt to protect its brands, following the retailer’s response to a barrage of cease-and-desist letters the luxury company sent about the use of the stripe webbing on many products. A silver bomber jacket, a flower bomber jacket, a butterfly jumper, a green tiger pattern scarf, and a choker, all with striped webbing, are among the items. The products aren’t available on the Forever 21 website right now.

When Gucci asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit because Forever 21 had failed to offer adequate proof in support of their argument, the court agreed. The Court, on the other hand, has opted not to dismiss the lawsuit and will investigate it in order to have justice. When Gucci asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit because Forever 21 had failed to offer adequate proof in support of their argument, the court agreed. The Court, on the other hand, has opted not to dismiss the lawsuit and will investigate it in order to have justice. Both of Forever 21’s allegations are considered to be viable by the court. They went on to say that all cases should be settled in court. However, on November 21, 2018, these two luxury companies agreed to end their disagreement. Forever 21’s lawsuit against Gucci was dismissed by a federal judge in favour of the luxury brand. When Gucci asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit because Forever 21 had failed to offer adequate proof in support of their argument, the court agreed.

The Court, on the other hand, has opted not to dismiss the lawsuit and will investigate it in order to have justice. Both of Forever 21’s allegations are considered to be viable by the court. They went on to say that all cases should be settled in court. However, on November 21, 2018, these two luxury companies agreed to end their disagreement. Forever 21’s lawsuit against Gucci was dismissed by a federal judge in favour of the luxury brand. However, on November 21, 2018, these two luxury companies agreed to end their disagreement. When Gucci asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit because Forever 21 had failed to offer adequate proof in support of their argument, the court agreed. The Court, on the other hand, has opted not to dismiss the lawsuit and will investigate it in order to have justice. Both of Forever 21’s allegations are considered to be viable by the court. They went on to say that all cases should be settled in court. However, on November 21, 2018, these two luxury companies agreed to end their disagreement. Forever 21’s lawsuit against Gucci was dismissed by a federal judge in favour of the luxury brand.

Gucci’s complaint comes at a time when references to imitation culture have become fashionable. Gucci artistic director Alessandro Michele has made satirical references to counterfeit and copycat culture in his own projects, most prominently with logo t-shirts bearing the words “Guccy,” “Guccification,” and “Guccify Yourself.” A puff-sleeved bomber jacket displayed at Gucci’s most recent cruise display liberally quoted a bootleg Louis Vuitton coat made by Harlem tailor Dapper Dan, causing outrage. Michele later said that the piece was meant to be a tribute.

Conclusion

In the past few years, the significance of IP has gone through the ceiling. In order to protect their intellectual property, enterprises have started taking proactive measures to stop anyone who misuses or exploits their intellectual property.

According to the brand’s marketing ads, Gucci is a brand that charges “as much as people are willing to pay”. Similar to other luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci’s products are equally expensive, and there are reasons for that.

First, Gucci does not target or cater to all buyers but only selected categories of consumers. As is the case of most labels selling luxury items, the high price becomes a form of client selectivity.

Second, Gucci banks on a strategy that allows the upper class to emphasize their status and prestige. For example, Gucci’s logo suggests that the buyers are of high class, have good taste, high class, and a strong financial background.

Over the time, Gucci has been dynamic in protecting its logo, designs and branding through a substantial intellectual property portfolio. The company is also known for high profile trademark litigation and has been party to multi-million dollar lawsuits and settlements. Their compiled trademark registrations demonstrate not only their commitment to ensuring the protection of their brand, but also their awareness of the rich influence and regard to luxury that Gucci continues to retain a century after its birth.

References

  1. https://bagista.co.uk/blogs/news/gucci-brand-story
  2. https://www.kering.com/en/houses/couture-and-leather-goods/gucci/history/
  3. https://www.latestlaws.com/intellectual-property-news/ 
  4. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gucci-sues-forever-21-trademark-infringement

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