Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick Lawyers recently successfully acted
for Louis Vuitton Malletier (Louis Vuitton) against Sonya Valentine
Pty Ltd (Sonya Valentine), a local importer and distributor of
various goods imported from China including sunglasses.
The proceeding was commenced in the Fast Track List of the
Federal Court of Australia, after Louis Vuitton became aware of the
importation and sale by Sonya Valentine of sunglasses bearing the
expression 'LOUIS V', in some instances together with
'EYEWEAR EST. 1941 PARIS', and other sunglasses bearing a
flower symbol, examples of which are shown below:
Louis Vuitton claimed that the use of either the term 'LOUIS
V' or the flower symbol on sunglasses was an infringement of
its Australian Trade Mark registrations for LOUIS VUITTON or , and
that the sale and supply of such sunglasses in Australia was a
breach of the Australian Consumer Law.
Sonya Valentine failed to comply with various court orders, and
Louis Vuitton filed an interlocutory application seeking judgment
against Sonya Valentine in default.
Australian Consumer Law
Justice Jessup held that in light of Louis Vuitton's
reputation, a consumer would be misled into thinking the Sonya
Valentine's 'LOUIS V' or flower symbol sunglasses were
either those of Louis Vuitton, or somehow associated with Louis
Justice Jessup therefore held that Sonya Valentine's use of
'LOUIS V' and the flower symbol was misleading conduct or a
misleading representation in breach of the Australian Consumer
His Honour also found that the expression 'EYEWEAR EST. 1941
PARIS' found on some of the sunglasses was a false
representation and a breach of the Australian Consumer Law
on the basis that Sonya Valentine has filed no evidence that the
sunglasses (manufactured in China) were connected with Paris in any
Trade mark infringement
Justice Jessup accepted that the flower symbol as used by Sonya
Valentine was deceptively similar to Louis Vuitton's trade mark
registration but was not persuaded on the evidence that the mark
'LOUIS V' was deceptively similar to 'LOUIS
Louis Vuitton was successful in obtaining extensive injunctions
preventing the sale of the 'LOUIS V' and flower symbol
trade marks, as well as pecuniary remedies and costs against Sonya
The court also made a declaration that by the importation,
offering for sale and sale of sunglasses bearing the flower symbol,
Sonya Valentine has used the flower symbol as a trade mark and
infringed Louis Vuitton's Australian registered trade mark No
1047186 for .
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