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A South Korean chicken restaurant owner got a rude awakening when he was slapped with a $12,800 fine for ripping off the famous French designer label’s name and monogram design.

The owner of a fast food chicken restaurant in South Korea, only identified by his surname, Kim, was recently ordered to pay Louis Vuitton a hefty sum for violating the Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act.

Kim was inspired to use the Louis Vuitton moniker to sell his fried chicken after deciding the Korean word for whole chicken, “tondak”, fit well with the designer’s name to make “Louis Vuiton Dak”. He then proceeded to use the label’s popular monogram for his restaurant’s take-away packaging and printed napkin designs.


However, the high-end fashion brand wasn’t impressed with his business strategy and wasted no time filing a lawsuit against him. The Seoul Central District Court sided with Louis Vuitton and warned that further use of the designer’s name could result in heavy fines of 500,000 won (US$443) a day.

Following this first ruling Kim made some slight alterations, such as adding “cha” before his restaurant’s name and re-working his packaging design, the French label still felt the result wasn’t distinguishable enough from the original and quickly came after him again. After another round of court proceedings, the court ruled that Kim would have to pay the fashion house 14,500,000 won (US$12,850) as restitution for each day his restaurant continued to devalue the brand’s name.

As finger-licking good as Kim’s chicken may be, it’s obvious the luxury brand had no desire for the label to be associated with the likes of an average fast food restaurant (especially one that’s not paying for the privilege). Hopefully, however, the experience will encourage Kim to come up with a more creative, legal way of marketing his food, instead of riding on the back of another brand’s fame.

Top image: Forever Nomday
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