SEOUL — A South Korean court has ordered a restaurant owner to pay 14.5 million won ($12,750) in damages to Louis Vuitton for using its trade name and refusing to comply with court order. The owner, identified only by his surname Kim, operates a South Korean fried chicken restaurant in Seoul, named “Louis Vuitton Dak” — a play on the word “tondak,” which means “whole chicken” in Korean.
According to The Korea Times, the logo for “Louis Vuitton Dak” additionally bore a close resemblance to the luxury brand’s logo and was printed on napkins and take-out cartons.
Louis Vuitton had taken the matter to court in September 2015, citing the “Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act” violation. It claimed that Kim using its name for a fried chicken restaurant was damaging the brand’s originality and devaluing its prestige.
The Seoul Central District Court ruled in Louis Vuitton’s favour in October 2015 and ordered Kim to immediately cease its use of the Paris-based brand and pay 500,000 won ($440) per day to the brand if he continued to ignore the terms of the order.
Still adamant on being tongue-in-cheek, Kim changed its business name to “chaLouisvui tondak,” which unfortunately did nothing to appease the brand.
Louis Vuitton followed up by requesting Kim pay 14.5 million ($12,750) for using its name for 29 days.
Despite Kim’s argument that the second name was significantly different, the court ruled against him on Sunday and ordered him to pay the stipulated amount.
The court’s statement is as follows: “The (Korean) name, which plays an important role in making a distinction, is still read in the same way, so we cannot say that the new name lies beyond the scope of the court’s ban.”