In the tradition of MAD Magazine and the Garbage Pail Kids, parody continues to be protected by law in the United States.
MGA Entertainment (MGAE) recently responded to a French legal scuffle over its Poopsie Slime Surprise Pooey Puitton purse by making a preemptive strike in the U.S. — filing papers in a California court, hoping for a ruling that parody is a protected expression with no infringement under U.S. law.
Last December, Louis Vuitton Malletier cried foul in France, claiming that the unicorn handbag was an infringement of its trademark. In the States, Louis Vuitton moved to have MGAE‘s case dismissed, stating in court documents that they have no intention of pursuing litigation. Judge John F. Walter agreed, granting Vuitton’s request for dismissal on May 14.
“In arguing for dismissal, Luis Vuitton conceded that it had no intention of suing in the U.S. with respect to MGA’s obvious parody,” says Isaac Larian, CEO and founder of MGA Entertainment. “We expect the same results from French courts. There is no way anyone will confuse a Pooey Puitton and a Louis Vuitton bag. After all, this is exactly what we were asking for from the court — Louis Vuitton has no case in the USA; Louis Vuitton conceded that fact”
As for the status of the matter in the French courts, the debate is ongoing.
“Louis Vuitton, a French luxury retail conglomerate, decided to take their case to French courts for a hometown advantage,” added Larian. “We have faith that the French courts will not be persuaded and see what this is all about — a non-infringing parody — and, ultimately throw this ridiculous case out. After all, it’s good to laugh.”
Meanwhile, Pooey Puitton will continue to exist in a world where kids in the Cacafornia Repooplic can enjoy a can of Caca-Coola, Dr. Pooper, or Poopster Energy Drink after dousing themselves in the latest fragrance from Fart Jacobs on their way to dinner at In-Then-Out or Wipe Castle. With Poopsie Slime Surprise, parody is a big part of the experience.