Guess CEO Paul Marciano said that a judge vindicated his company in its trademark infringement case against Gucci when she decided that Guess should pay just $4.7 million in damages instead of the $300 million Gucci originally sued for.
In a statement, Marciano said Judge Shira Scheindlin's decision "definitely confirmed . . . that this case should have never gone to three years of litigation and trial." Scheindlin wrote that Gucci's claims of how much business Guess had taken from them by allegedly copying its designs over the last two decades was "highly speculative." Marciano largely agreed, calling the entire lawsuit "unconscionable by its scope."
"They 'forgot' to claim certain trademark rights that Guess used for 23 years . . . and the court sided with Guess," Marciano said. "When they found certain issues, they waited not months but years before acting and never wrote a letter, sent an email or picked up the phone to say, 'We have an issue.' That never happened."
Marciano said Guess is "extremely satisfied," and pointed out that Gucci itself has been accused of copying other designers.
"Gucci maybe should look at their own designs and inspirations when it comes to other brands of who they get inspired by," he said. "Everyone will remember Roberto Cavalli's statement from WWD on Feb. 24, 2012, that Gucci basically copied his entire collection of 2010. Gucci never responded to that."
Gucci initiated the lawsuit in 2009, claiming that Guess concocted a "calculated scheme" to knock off its designs and did so over the course of several decades. After years of legal volleys, the case went to trial in March.