(this is a translated excerpt of “Uno che si chiama Gucci” by Alessandro Gilioli)

Gucci vs the Restaurant Who Must Not Be Named /img/gidoc-restaurant-prato-menu.png

“One year ago Mr. Fabio Gucci opened a family-run restaurant. Name of the restaurant: GucciDoc. The first half is the family surname, the second half refers to the quality of food and wine.” (my note: the picture above is a selection of their actual menu. It sure looks like quality, if you ask me)

“But at some point the Gucci family receives a “cease and desist” letter, demanding Mr Gucci to stop using his own surname for his own restaurant, lest they’re sued and fined millions.”

“The reason would be that this family restaurant would damage the “Gucci brand” and confuse consumers. And in any case, no commercial exercise can be called Gucci because the only Gucci who has the right to open stores with that name is the fashion house. Which, from many years, doesn’t belong to any Gucci anymore, but to the Kering group of French billionaire François Pinault.”

In a nutshell, quips Gilioli,

“one who is NOT named Gucci forbids one who IS named Gucci to open a restaurant named Gucci.”

But since “the multinational not named Gucci is worth more than 12 billion euros a year, and the family business by the one actually named Gucci just a few tens of thousands”, the latter could never bear years of fights in courts and heavy legal fees without going bankrupt…

the Gucci family surrendered without going to court, and changed the name of their restaurant to GiDoc (or maybe G…idoc with 3 dots, as a local newspaper reports, with many more details?)

Confusing customers?

This is the old GucciDoc logo, side by side with the one of the Gucci fashion house:

Gucci vs the Restaurant Who Must Not Be Named /img/guccidoc-vs-gucci.png

OK, the font is very similar, but insisting that any consumer with an average brain may think that a place like that has any official connection with, or endorsement by, a seller of bags, dresses and such… sounds really half paranoid, half ridiculous, if you ask me. Even if Gucci will pay all the expenses for new street sign, business cards, re-registration procedures etc, as reported here,)

In my humble opinion, a demand to change the font and/or add a big notice like “this restaurant is NOT affiliated in any way with the Gucci fashion house” would have been more than enough. Still paranoid, probably, but bearable without any substantial damage (both for the restaurant, and for the fashion house). As the Gucci family said in a comment, “we ARE named Gucci too, and by much longer than you”.

What next?

All in all, I can only repeat Gilioli’s final invitations:

  • to everybody living around Prato, or passing by: please go have lunch or dinner at the GiDoc restaurant. Address: via Accademia 49
  • to the Gucci mansion and its owners, managers and lawyers: please try to feel a bit ashamed

and add my own: you know what to do now. Please share this post and shop accordingly. May the Streisand Effect be with you.

Final note: this is not the first time that something like this happens. In Italy, in 2003, a stamp maker named Luca Armani had to give up his own domain name, www.armani.it, to the Armani fashion house.