French luxury brand Louis Vuitton has filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. over the use of a Louis Vuitton knockoff bag as a prop in “The Hangover: Part II.”
According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in New York on Thursday, an airport scene in the film makes use of a counterfeit Louis Vuitton bag made by a company named Diophy, which is also facing a lawsuit by Louis Vuitton for trademark infringement.
During the scene in question, Zach Galifianakis’ character, Alan, warns the character Stu (played by Ed Helms): “Careful, that is … that is a Louis Vuitton.” The French brand took great offense to both the movie’s use of its trademark, and the depiction of the bootleg bag as a real Louis Vuitton. According to court papers, the fashion company alleges Warner Bros. is “explicitly misleading the public about the source of the Diophy Bag” and undermining the company’s enforcement efforts against counterfeits of its product.
Louis Vuitton objected to Warner Bros. footage after the film’s opening, but the producer still released the film on DVD with the offending footage intact. Louis Vuitton argues that altering the airport scene to eliminate the company’s trademarked design would have easily solved the problem — similarly to what Warner agreed to do with the face tattoo involved in a previous lawsuit against the film.
The French company is seeking a permanent injunction on Warner Bros from using its trademarks in any way, and the surrender of all the company’s copies of the film containing the marks. It is also asking for triple damages on all profits that Warner Bros. may have collected from using Vuitton’s marks, plus attorneys’ fees and court costs.
The Vuitton case is the latest in a series of lawsuits targeting the $500 million movie franchise. In addition to the tattoo lawsuit, which was settled in June, the company was sued in October by an aspiring actor who claimed that the plot was stolen from his own life experiences.
Warner Bros. has yet to comment on the lawsuit.