Guess loses bid to dismiss Gucci trademark case

Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:35pm EST

A model displays a creation as part of the Gucci Fall/Winter 2010/11 women's collection during Milan Fashion Week February 27, 2010.        REUTERS/Max Rossi

A model displays a creation as part of the Gucci Fall/Winter 2010/11 women's collection during Milan Fashion Week February 27, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Max Rossi

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(Reuters) - A federal judge rejected Guess Inc's (GES.N) bid to dismiss a trademark infringement lawsuit by Italian luxury goods company Gucci.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan ruled in favor of Guess on Tuesday with regard to infringement claims based on its use of the "Square G" and "Quattro G" designs. She rejected motions to dismiss the case with respect to all other claims.

Owned by the French company PPR SA (PRTP.PA), Gucci had in a lawsuit begun in May 2009 accused Guess of engaging in a "sophisticated and elaborate scheme" to boost sales by copying or mimicking some of its best-known designs.

Gucci contended that it was entitled to an accounting of profits from the sale of alleged infringing products by Guess and other defendants, a sum its expert calculated at $98 million, plus $26 million in damages.

Scheindlin said Guess was entitled to prevail on Gucci's dilution claims with respect to the "Square G" and "Quattro G" designs.

She rejected Guess' bid to dismiss Gucci's claims with respect to its use of two other designs: a script logo resembling a logo used by Gucci, and a design known as the "GRG Stripe."

A co-defendant, Marc Fisher Footwear LLC, also failed to win dismissal of Gucci's claims based in its alleged use of the GRG Stripe design on its shoes.

The case is Gucci America Inc v. Guess? Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 09-04373.

(Reporting By Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Maureen Bavdek and Lisa Von Ahn)

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