Bill P. Godfrey et al

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Trademarks are a good thing ™

Bags, in the familiar chocolate leather and gold LV monogram - an international symbol of luxury - will be on sale for less than ten pounds. Despite the "genuine" logos, everyone knows these are counterfeit goods.
Turns out these fake handbags are made by children in sweatshops and might go to fund al-Qaida.

If you own a trademark, you have a monopoly to use that mark in that particular realm. If anyone else tries it, the law will step in. In my humble opinion, its a reasonable law. If someone has a good reputation for quality goods, we as buyers should have a reasonable expectation that when we buy something with LV written it, its the genuine high quality product and not something that will fall apart after nine days.

Ask yourself though, why should Louis Vuitton be the only one who can sell LV handbags? Say I started manufacturing high quality handbags, employing well paid people in a good working environment and never give a penny to any terrorist. Why shouldn't I be allowed to put LV on my handbags too?

That is the problem I have with the argument that counterfeit goods are of low quality and fund criminals, its not necessarily the case. If someone's only crime is to infringe a trademark, its not going to dissuade someone who feels that trademark infringement "never hurt anyone". The argument that trademark infringement is simply wrong, is not being heard by the general public.

That, I feel, is a pity. I'm a professional creative and I would be mightily upset if people were selling my creative works and cutting me out, as Louis Vuitton is. (As it happens, nearly all my work is for my employer, so that's not a great worry for me right now.)

Trademark infringement is bad because the people who built up the name are being cut out. Let's not pretend the law is there for anything else.


Post a Comment

<< Home