Gucci Sues Credit Card Processors For Trademark Infringement

from the that's-a-stretch... dept

Rose M. Welch alerts us to the news that Gucci America has decided to sue a bunch of credit card processors for trademark infringement. Why? Because they processed the credit cards of some online sites that happened to sell fake Gucci bags. This, of course, makes no sense. None of the credit card companies were actually violating Gucci’s trademarks at all, and I can’t see how they can show those firms actually “used” its trademarks in commerce. This seems like a pure money grab. Gucci already received an award of $5.2 million from the site that used these credit card processors, so this just seems like going after more cash for the same issue, but suing companies further up the chain. I can’t see Gucci having much success here, but it reminds us that there really ought to be a Section 230-style safe harbor for trademarks as well.

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Companies: gucci

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Comments on “Gucci Sues Credit Card Processors For Trademark Infringement”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Next up are the landlords of the offices rented by these processors…

Followed by the banks used by the landlords of the offices rented by these processors…

Followed by the customers of the banks used by the landlords of the offices rented by these processors…

Followed by the companies that made the cars driven by the customers of the banks used by the landlords of the offices rented by these processors…

If only there really were a hole in the bottom of the sea for some of these lawyers.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:


There is SUCH an easy solution to this problem.

Just make any person/business bringing any civil lawsuit that gets tossed out pay 10% of their asking price in the suit into the nearest public education system and be done with it.

You want to sue everyone and everything just to see what sticks? Fine. But the only one getting stuck will be you….

PRMan (profile) says:

Re: Re: Please

“Actually it would be more interesting for the loser in a lawsuit to be responsible for reimbursing the winner of the suit for all expenses they incurred linked to the suit. This means not just legal fees…”

Then corporations would win all lawsuits against little guys. I think the loser should pay the lower of the 2 sets of legal fees to the winner. That way, the little guy is only out twice the value of his (somewhat meager) attorney bills, but the large corporation does get dinged with “fishing suits” such as the RIAA ones.

Tek'a R (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

card processors are not in the business of screening people and imagining theoretical futures where they are responsible for the actions of others.

I would assume that the only liability, if any at All for a processing company is in making sure they have factual information and keep records on who they do business with to avoid fraud, and thats it.

If you allow this wooly-minded and backwards thinking, what will be next?

“Bed, Bath and So-on is responsible for this murder, because they sold a knife set that the killer received as a wedding present”

“Radio-Hovel should have known.. only a Terrorist would buy a pair of alligator clips and a pack of AA batteries. Officer, round up these clerks, they obviously knew exactly what the madman had planned all along”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

No, you miss the point. If Visa got an application from “90% off Gucci Bags”, mail order only, perhaps they might have wanted to ask the quick question about the legality of the products being sold.

Remember, unlike a landlord, Visa very directly profits from every transaction, so they have a financial benefit to being specifically blind. They took in a couple of hundred thousand dollars for processing for stolen / illegal merchandise.

It isn’t question of how a legal product was used (your two examples) but how an illegal product was sold. Do you think that Visa and Mastercard should knowingly be allowed to process for drug dealers?

Almost Anonymous (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

First, do you really think they named their company “Blatant Obvious Rip-Off Website”?

Second, I am at a complete loss as to why a credit-card processing center should have to screen (or really any other kind of due diligence) their customers. In my opinion, they should never even know what the “goods” are, they should only know “we request this sum, do they have it?”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: that does it...

I will never buy a Gucci product, period. When I buy something, I buy quality, not a name. Sometimes the name is synonymous with quality, but not always. I refuse to pay ridiculous amounts of money for something based purely on the name alone, especially when the name is on the face of a company that is so consumed with greed that they resort to these tactics to pad their own pockets, instead of earning an honest living. Maybe if they would come down off their pedestal and charge reasonable prices for their products, then perhaps the market for fake knock-offs would shrink considerably or even disappear. But heaven forbid they actually make any smart business decisions.

DJ (profile) says:

Better idea

Let’s just get to the heart of the matter, here. Whether you vote Dem or Rep, start paying attention to the people for whom you are voting. That way maybe…just maybe…we can get some good laws passed — and bad ones removed — without the legislators being so damned concerned with how much money their pet parrot’s great-grandchicks are going to have.


Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

Please & Better Idea

I’m all for punishing the purveyors of bullshit lawsuits everywhere, but surely there’s a better place to dump a ton of money into than the public school system. They’ve done so much with so little already.

How about just dividing it up among the members of the local community to do with as they see fit. Imagine thousands of cheering locals rooting for the suit to get tossed out of court. The judges doing that would be like gods.

Of course, some good would go out with the bad, depending on each judge’s prediliction for popularity, but it should trim down the number of filings nearly immediately. (user link) says:


Your comment “none of the credit card companies were actually violating Gucci’s trademarks at all…” is spot-on.

Perhaps the credit card processors can be made liable for approving the online merchant.

The matter could be complicated further if the credit card processors are aware of the online merchant business activities.

Nonetheless, most probably the online merchant does not reveal their true intent when the application was made.

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