LVL XIII vs. Louis Vuitton

Shoe designer, Antonio Brown, who is the force behind runs up-and-coming label, LVL XIII (pronounced Level Thirteen), has filed a lawsuit against Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey, LVMH, alleging that Louis Vuitton has committed trademark infringement with it ‘On The Road’ footwear collection. Brown is claiming that the nameplate that Vuitton has incorporated into its shoes is infringing upon the nameplates that Brown features on his own footwear collection.

The basis of trademark infringement case is whether the mark is confusingly similar to an inherently distinctive mark owned by the petitioner in the lawsuit. Here, Brown has to prove that the toeplates  on Louis Vuitton’s ‘On The Road’ shoes are confusingly similar to the toeplates that Brown has adorned on his LVL XIII shoes since 2013.


Here, the toeplates are rather similar to each other in the design and the placement of the plates on the toe of the shoes. However, it seems that the crux of the case will rest on whether the toeplates are inherently distinctive, which Brown will have to prove in order to be victorious. This means that Brown would have to show that a consumer would recognize the toeplate as signifier of the LVL XIII brand.

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