LV cries foul over name of chicken eatery

SEOUL • A South Korean court has ordered a fried chicken restaurant owner to pay 14.5 million won (S$17,200) for refusing to comply with a ban on using the luxury Louis Vuitton brand name for his outlet, a report said yesterday.

The owner, identified only by his surname Kim, had called his restaurant in Seoul, "LOUIS VUITON DAK" - a play on the word "tongdak" which means whole chicken in Korean.

He also ran up a logo very similar to that of the French fashion house and had it printed on his napkins and fried chicken take-out cartons.

Louis Vuitton filed a suit in September last year, saying the use of the company's name to sell fried chicken was damaging to the brand.

A district court in Seoul agreed and in October ordered Mr Kim to desist and threatened a 500,000 won-per-day fine for non-compliance.

The restaurant owner responded by tinkering with the restaurant name and came up with "chaLouisvuitondak" which he unsuccessfully argued was different enough to comply with the court ruling.

Louis Vuitton complained again and the court this week ordered Mr Kim to pay the fashion house 14.5 million won for the 29 days that the amended name was displayed.

"Although he changed the name with different spacing, the two names sounded almost the same," the Korea Times quoted the judge as saying.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2016, with the headline 'LV cries foul over name of chicken eatery'. Print Edition | Subscribe