San Diego - Most people know that few fights can be as bad as those within the family. Lately Gucci became as well known for its high profile trademark infringement battle against family members as it is for its famous brand. In 2009, the fashion house sued the former wife of one of the grandsons for attempting to open Gucci coffee shops. In 2010, the Gucci Group sued Cosima and Elizabeth Gucci for attempting to open a line of global hotels. And last week, Gucci announced that it was successful in a trademark infringement lawsuit against the great-grandsons of its founder.
Guccio and Alessandro Gucci, great-grandsons of the founder, produced handbags and accessories under the brand name ToBeG. The grandsons had chosen not to use the trademarks on the actual products themselves. However, a judge in Florence nonetheless found the two guilty of infringing on the Gucci trademarks. Despite having created products under its brand name for over four years, the owners of ToBeG, were sued by the Gucci Group for making unauthorized use of the Gucci trademarks in marketing communications and website activities. Consequently, the Florentine court held that using the names "Guccio Gucci" and "Gucci", created an "unfair association" between the Gucci trademarks and the products of ToBeG. Additionally, unauthorized use of the Gucci trademarks created a likelihood of confusion between consumers of the products produced by the two companies. As a result, the court held that the ToBeG products took unfair advantage of the qualities and reputation of the famous brand.
Gucci was founded in Florence Italy in 1921 and quickly became known for making high-quality clothing, watches, jewelry, shoes and leather goods. Both of the great-grandsons began their careers working for Gucci's well-known fashion label. Guccio Gucci (named after his great-grandfather) left Gucci after 12 years to work for his father, and then to set up his own company in 2008.