Louis Vuitton suing over Hangover II handbag fakery

Raunch comedy The Hangover Part II caused quite a controversy around Bangkok, with its crude take on the Thai capital showcasing drunk monks and transexual sodomy.

Seems that some Bangkokians weren’t the only ones offended, as French fashion giant Louis Vuitton is now suing Hangover II studio Warner Bros. over a handbag featured in the film.

Louis Vuitton filed a US federal suit in New York in December claiming that a handbag used in the film is fake, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In the offending scene (embedded below) Zach Galifianakis is holding a bag marked LVM and says “Careful, that is.. that is a Louis Vuitton.” The complaint alleges that the bag is made by a Chinese-American firm called Diophy that Louis Vuitton is already suing to prevent knock-off goods from being sold in the US.

Louis Vuitton says that they’ve been damaged by the confusion as “Careful, that is a Louis Vuitton” has become a catch phrase (has it?) and that Warner Bros. refused to change the scene before putting the film out on DVD. The fashion house is seeking profits from the film and to stop the release of scenes of the film featuring the fake bag. Causes of action include trademark dilution, false designation of origin, and unfair competition.

The Hollywood Reporter was unable to elicit a comment from Warner Bros. on the suit, but this isn’t the first time the studio has had to lawyer up over Hangover II

First the tattoo artist behind Mike Tyson’s facial Maori monstrosity sued, claiming the similar design featured on Ed Helms’s face in the film was intellectual property infringement. That case was settled. In October, writer Michael Alan Rubin filed suit claiming Hangover II copied his script based on his real-life exploits in Asia, including leaving his girlfriend to propose to a ladyboy hooker. That case was dismissed. Stuntman Scott McLean also sued Warners over brain trauma suffered from a bungled stunt and the case was settled.

For Coconuts Bangkok’s feature story on the economic impact of Hangover II and other foreign films shooting in Thailand, click here.

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