L V Bespoke Wins Trademark Battle Against Louis Vuitton

Family firm triumphs over luxury giant in David and Goliath legal fight

<p>A small <a href=https://talker.news/2023/07/14/why-fashion-giant-louis-vuitton-is-taking-a-small-family-business-to-court/>British garden company </a>has won a David and Goliath legal battle over fashion giant Louis Vuitton after being taken to court in a trademark dispute. CODY GALLO VIA UNSPLASH.)</p>

L V Bespoke, a family firm which sells handmade home and garden products, was locked in the battle with the world’s most valuable luxury brand for two years.


Owners Lawrence Osborne, 42, and wife Victoria, 46, started the business from their home workshop in Reepham, Norfolk, during the pandemic.

But they found themselves embroiled in a high-profile tribunal process with the fashion powerhouse when they tried to register it as a trademark in December 2021.


Louis Vuitton, which owns the famous interlocking L and V trademark, claimed the use of the ‘L V’ initials could cause the public to make a mental link to their brand.


Lawyers of the French fashion house also claimed the similarities could dilute the distinctiveness of the Louis Vuitton brand and risk damaging its reputation.


But the Osbornes said “common sense has finally prevailed” after it was ruled that Louis Vuitton’s trademark appeal failed on all grounds.


“It’s a great way to start the new year and we can finally wholeheartedly embrace the branding of our business. To not have the worry of having to rebrand or rescope our business is a huge relief. We’ve had the handbrake on our business for the last six months awaiting this decision, so it’s been a long time coming,” said chuffed Victoria.


“It’s been challenging both mentally and financially. Mentally it’s been hugely challenging for us as a family not knowing whether or not we can continue to grow our business with the presence and identity that we already have,” she added.


“Everything has come as a huge relief and I hope the next six months aren’t as challenging as what the last have been awaiting this decision so we can finally move forward,” she continued.


The Osbornes’ trademark application related to metal plant supports.

Louis Vuitton claimed this falls into a category it owns exclusive rights to under its registered trademark, which includes common metals and their alloys, and metal components for leatherware.


This relates to closure systems, plates, locks, padlocks, handles, buckles and button handles.


The Osborne family argued Louis Vuitton could not claim exclusive rights to the plain letters L and V. The trademark tussle has cost the family up to £15,000 in legal fees. The decision ordered Louis Vuitton to pay £4,000 in compensation towards the costs.


“It’s just a fraction of our outlay, but we’re pleased to receive some compensation to offset it against the expense that we’ve had. But you can’t put a measure on your own cost of time,” said Victoria.


“That’s without a measure of what a disadvantage we’ve been at over the last two years as a result of not being able to future-proof our business and grow it with the intention we had all because of the worry and fear that the trademark and identity of the business we would possibly have to change,” she added.


“I’d like Louis Vuitton to recognize what they’ve put a small, independent business through. It’s unfair and it’s cost us a lot of money. I imagine it has cost them a lot of money as well, but they have the power and wealth to throw at it. But at the end of the day common sense has prevailed thankfully and the outcome is what we all hoped for. I’m glad to say we stood up to these corporate bullies and we can be the true winners of this David and Goliath battle,” explained Victoria.


A tale of two firms:

Louis Vuitton:
Founded in 1854, Louis Vuitton is a division of LVMH – Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton – which is the world’s leading luxury goods group – recording revenue of €79.2 billion (£67.5bn) last year.

Headquartered in Paris, the group had a record year in 2022 – with profits from recurring operations of €21.1bn (£18bn).

L V Bespoke
Established in 2020, L V Bespoke sells plants, steel plant supports and a range of handmade home and garden items.

Headquartered in Reepham, Norfolk, the business also had a record year in 2022, turning over £250,000.


Produced in association with SWNS Talker