...the drug-addled doofus played by Zach Galifianakis fancies himself fancy because he is carrying what appears to be one of the company's bags. "Careful," he cautions in the movie, "that is a Louis Vuitton." The line is said to have become something of a pop-culture catchphrase, which has Louis Vuitton bent out of shape—specially since, according to its court filing claiming trademark infringement, the bag in question is a fake. The company wants the knock-off and the catchphrase excised from all copies of the film, and some compensation culled from the movie's profits for good measure.TMZ has a clip of the offending 6-second scene.
Vuitton, which posted profits of $28.26 billion in 2010, doesn't have much of a chance in court, WSJ's Eric Felten writes, citing a dismissed suit by Wham-O over a scene in the film Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star that showed a dangerously misused Slip'n'Slide. He continues:
If "Careful, that is a Louis Vuitton" has really become a catchphrase, the filmmakers ought to trademark it. Then they can sue Louis Vuitton for using that trademark in its litigation against the "Hangover" crowd.The film has every right, as I see it, to satirize the company's products, even if the gag is used in a movie with an aim of making a profit. That wasn't the case with Plesner: Her painting, a riff on Picasso's Guernica, was created for (nonprofit) artistic and activist reasons. The cause: Raising awareness of the plight of people, especially children, dying in Darfur -- and the apparent indifference of many, including ultra-wealth celebrities, to their suffering. Louis Vuitton sought to collect 5,000 euros for each day the painting stayed on Plesner's website.