LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has added five new design patents to its roster, four for recent Louis Vuitton bags and another for a coveted CÉLINE bag. All five patents, which were applied for with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in late 2014, cover the “ornamental design [read: non-functional elements] for a handbag” and give the respective brands the right to prevent others from making, using, or selling a product that so resembles the patented product that an "ordinary observer" might purchase the infringing article (a bag in this case), thinking it was the patented product. The duration of such protection? Fourteen years.
THE CELINE DESIGN
First up: The Ring bag, which according to CÉLINE’s design patent application was “invented” by the brand’s creative director, Phoebe Philo, retails for $2,650 for the basic grained calfskin version and a “price upon request” crocodile skin version. It was initially introduced in 2014 as part of CÉLINE’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection and has been reintroduced for several seasons since.
THE LOUIS VUITTON DESIGNS
Louis Vuitton’s $2,910 Lockme PM bag has been granted protection and in more ways than one. In addition to garnering design patent protection, Louis Vuitton has secured trademark protection for the name of the “Lockme” bag, much like it has done with its “Neverfull”, “Capucines”, “Artsy”, “Keepall”, “Alma”, and “Malletage” bags. According to Louis Vuitton’s patent application, the Lockme PM bag was created by Darren Spaziani, an accessories designer, who joined the house during Marc Jacobs’ tenure, after previously working for Louis Vuitton from 2004 to 2006. He also did a stint as a design director for Balenciaga and consultant Proenza Schouler before rejoining the house in 2013.
Spaziani, who appears to be the mastmind behind nearly all of Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière-era bags, is also responsible for Louis Vuitton’s GO-14 PM bag, for which it was granted design patent protection late last month. According to Louis Vuitton, “A key shape for the season, the GO-14 [which begins at $3,950] complements virtually every look from Nicolas Ghesquiere runway. In precious crocodile leather, the bag features the signature extra-long sliding chain strap and a new twist lock.”
And still yet, Louis Vuitton was granted design patent protection for its Malletage Leather GO-14 PM bag and its Twist bag (pictured directly above), which are also Spaziani creations.
The Small ring bag, GO-14 PM, Twist, and Lockme PM join a rather long list of design patents that fall under the umbrella of LVMH, which is parent to Givenchy, Loewe, Marc Jacobs, Pucci, and Donna Karan, among other brands. CÉLINE, for instance, has a number of design patent-protected bags, including but not limited to its Case and Diamond bags and Louis Vuitton enjoys protection for an array of bags, including its Capucines and Lockit bags.