Owner of “Louis Vuitton fried chicken” restaurant in South Korea fined 14.5 million won

Image by Ayustety/CC BY-SA 2.0

• A South Korean fried chicken seller was fined 14.5 million won for using a parodied Louis Vuitton as name for his restaurant
• The fried chicken outlet owner named his business “Louis Vuiton Dak”
• The name is a play on word “Tongdak” which means whole chicken in Korea

A court in South Korea ordered the owner of a local fried chicken restaurant to pay 14.5 won ($12,500) for refusing to comply with an earlier ruling that banned him from operating his business under a name that parodied the luxury brand Louis Vuitton.

The restaurant owner, surnamed Kim, named his fried chicken outlet in Seoul “Louis Vuiton Dak” – a play with a South Korean word Tongdak, which means whole chicken. He also used a logo very similar to Louis Vuitton’s and had it printed on napkins and take-out wrappers.

The Korea Times said that on September last year, Louis Vuitton filed for an injunction asking the district court to ban the restaurant owner from using the name. The French fashion house said the restaurant damages the luxury brand by using it to sell fried chicken.

The following month, the district court ordered Kim to desist from using the parodied French brand and threatened a 500,000 won- per-day fine to be paid to Louis Vuitton if he will not comply.

After the court ruling, Kim changed the name of his chicken restaurant to “chaLouisvui Tondak.”

However, the French company complained again, saying Kim continued to use a similar name and demanded the restaurant owner to pay them 14.5 million won for violating the court’s order for 29 days.

Kim argued that the new name was different from the first one banned by the court.

“The newly modified name was not banned by the court,” he argued.

The judge said: “Although he changed the name with different spacing, the two names sounded almost the same.”

“Even if he added other alphabets in front of the name, essentially, the name could not be seen as a different name,” the judge added.