Would this be a potential copyright issue (seems...maybe)?

12 posts in this topic

I'm hoping for some insight on this, but understand I may need to speak with a lawyer if I am still unsure.

Had a rather well known client in the shop in April.  He wants a Louis Vuitton dog collar, to put it simply.  His request:  He will bring me a LV belt, to which I will split off the top 'LV' logo layer (roughly 1mm thick of that two-tone brown), and sew it to a tailored leather band affixed with a buckle and D ring. 

1.  As there is no means for me to place my maker's mark on this leather item and I am not selling the item as LV, I see no issue. 

2.  However, I do see that some people will view the collar as LV, thinking it an authorised LV leather item.  The client travels between the Allgäu, Munich, London and California often...

LV has been known to go heavy after knock-off makers.  Albeit, these are mass manufacturers who sell many of these fake items.  A one-off, by someone in the Allgäu would get little attention...  but still.

There is a side of me that worries somewhat on this and a side of me that sees no problem.  One could argue that if the belt was used and upcycled to create the dog collar, it would most like not be an issue.  Does making it with a new belt cause the issue?

I repaired an LV bag a few year back.  I know the french company who make the thread as I buy wallet thread from them, but they will not sell LV thread.  I used a yellow that was close, but not exact.

So, what are your thoughts on this?  Do you see a potential legal issue here or would this be a possible doable matter?

I have time on this, as the dog is still a puppy and the collar would not be needed until December, perhaps.

Looking forward to replies.

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Well, there is a lady who does just that: https://www.rentbag.de/sonderverkaufs-dog-cat-artikel/product/upcycling-artikel-2-farbige-cityleine-leder-neu-fuer-kleine-hunderassen.html

Since she has had two previous Abmahnungen from LV's and Hermès' lawyers, I assume that she wouldn't still offer it, or she would be looking at high fines, since these lawyers will for sure keep an eye on her shop (newspaper article behind paywall, a 1 week subscription would cost you 1€, you would then  need to remember to terminate the subscription immediately so as to not pay for an ensuing monthly sibscription): https://rp-online.de/nrw/staedte/grevenbroich/grevenbroich-gustorferin-im-streit-mit-weltmarken_aid-56033489

 

Since you are a Kunsthandwerker, this answer written by a lawyer might also interest you: https://www.frag-einen-anwalt.de/Zoll-behaelt-klar-gekennzeichnete-Upcycling-Ware-ein-Louis-Vuitton--f352154.html

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Hi, 
as always when I post here, let me start saying Im not an expert, lawyer or similar, just an opinion here.

I would say there is no problem doing that, just go ahead and do it.

Your client got the belt, let's assume it an authentic one and he is "re purposing" it. I see no problem on that.

Is not that you are setting up a factory to make thousands of them.

Also nobody will chase you for a single one.

Good luck!

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1 hour ago, travelerworker said:

Your client got the belt, let's assume it an authentic one and he is "re purposing" it. I see no problem on that.

 

 

Repurposing items can be a problem with brands that care about their image.  For example, Ferrari had sued people who alter their own Ferrari cars in a way they did not like it, and they have won.   LV themselves, among other high end brands care about their image, and using their brand or recognizable elements of their brand in an item not 100% made by them might be something they do not want.

 

AFAIK, LV, Prada and other high end brands sell dog collars and even dog transport bags.   However the LV one is for small dogs and it has a "cute" design, probably the OP's customer wants a collar with the traditional LV Monogram design that matches his own items.

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LV makes dog collars and would likely not take this infringement lightly.

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3 hours ago, travelerworker said:

... just go ahead and do it.

 

:lol: ... at your own risk.

 

I would not sacrifice my peace of mind for one item. Finger weg. You have other projects which will not worry at you in the wee small hours.

You also know the world went mad a long time ago and absurdity roolz.

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I don't think the OP would be liable, the owner will be.  But IANAL.

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Seems to me your client bought and now owns a product to do with as he pleases.  If he wants to shred it, set it on fire, sell it on ebay, scratch off the logo, stitch his name on it, what is any company going to do about it?  Sue him?  For what?

 

Since you're a leather worker; what if I bought one your your belts and made a dog collar out of it; what are you going to do about it?

 

LV...OOoooo I'm so afraid.  I can tell you one thing, no one in California would give a shit.

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Another layman´s guess: as you´ll be removing the LV-label I don`t see a problem. However, to be on the safe side I´d simply contact LV and ask them.

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@PandaMunich, thank you and helpful info as always!  The lawyer's response to the question was important and rather brilliant.

@travelerworker, the repurposing is a good line of thought.  Client buys belt properly.  Brings it to me.  I make a dog collar from it.  Where's the harm.  LV made their money...legally.

But I think therein lies the issue.  Because I too am making money from it.  It's not an authorised use of LV's brand or trademark.  How would I feel if someone took an item I made with my mark on it and repurposed it to something else?  I would either be upset or flattered. 

To quote @optimista, 'I would not sacrifice my peace of mind for one item'.... 'finger weg'.  I agree.

Thank you all for the thoughts and ideas.

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