Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Louis Vuitton loses court battle against Warner Brothers after judge finds use of knock-off bag in Hangover Part II “funny”

Louis Vuitton has lost its lawsuit against the Warner Brothers studio for using a knock-off bag in the film The Hangover: Part II.

It turns out the judge on the case had more of a sense of humour than the luxury label, which sought financial damages after the hit comedy featured, and poked fun at, a fake Louis Vuitton bag.

Louis Vuitton claimed it was harmed by the misrepresentation, but U.S. District Judge, Andrew Carter, dismissed the allegations and defended the “funny” scene, writing: “It adds to the image of Alan as a socially inept and comically misinformed character”.

The scene the judge is referring to is set at an airport, where the character Alan Garner, played by Zach Galifianakis says Careful...that’s a Louis Vuitton.

The bag in question is actually manufactured by the Chinese American outfit Diophy, which distributes fake designer goods.

For comic effect, the word “Louis” is also mispronounced as “Lewis”, the quote becoming a hallmark catchphrase from the movie.

Louis Vuitton claimed the company was harmed by this statement in particular, however Judge Carter wrote: “The likelihood of confusion (to viewers) is at best minimal”

He added that it was unlikely that film-goers would have noticed the bag, which was on screen for less than 30 seconds, was in fact a knock-off.

He also said that the audience would have thought Louis Vuitton approved of Warner Brothers use of the Diophy bag, and found that film company should not be held liable.

He wrote: Alan’s terse remark to Teddy to be careful because his bag is a Lewis Vuitton comes across as snobbish only because the public signifies Louis Vuitton - to which the Diophy bag looks confusingly similar - with luxury and a high society lifestyle.

His remark also comes across as funny because he mispronounces the French “Louis” like the English “Lewis”, and ironic because he cannot correctly pronounce the brand name of one of his expensive possessions, adding to the image of Alan as a socially inept and comically misinformed character”, he added.

The court concludes that Louis Vuitton’s allegations of confusion are not plausible, let alone “particularly compelling”, the judge wrote in summary.

Theodore Max, a lawyer for Louis Vuitton, had no immediate comment. According to the complaint, The Hangover: Part II had grossed about $ 580 million worldwide at the time the case was brought, becoming the highest-grossing ‘R’ rated comedy ever.

Warner Brothers, part of Time Warner Inc, are sure to be happy with the outcome of the case, after it had to pay damages this year to tattoo artist, Victor Whitmill. Mr Whitmill accused The Hangover: Part II of using of a replica tattoo he designed for Mike Tyson without his permission.

An Australian stunt man who sustained physical injuries while filming a botched car chase scene also filed a suit against Warner Bros, as did a screenwriter who claimed his ideas were stolen and used in the movie’s script.

Despite Louis Vuitton’s loss in the case, the luxury label has also filed a suit against Diophy. This year shares of LVMH, Louis Vuitton’s parent company, surged by $13.5 billion making Chairman Bernard Arnault, the fourth-richest man on the Forbes Rich List.


The four men enter the airport walking to Kayne Wests’ song Stronger.

Alan is seen wearing the fake Louis Vuitton bag slung over his shoulder.

The little brother of the bride-to-be, Teddy, joins the four guys and asks Alan if he can sit down next to him at the departure gate.

Alan says: “Wolf-pack only, find another chair”.

The groom, Stu, moves Alan’s fake bag off the chair next to him, while saying: There’s no Wolf-pack Alan. Teddy, you’re sitting here.

Alan shrieks: “Careful! That is a Lewis Vuitton”

By Daily Mail Reporter


            Among the important roles of Bank Indonesia was to safeguard and stabilize exchange rate value of Rupiah against other currencies especially the USD. In this case the focus of effort was on stabilizing exchange rate value not on strengthening the value. As known extreme weakening or strengthening of currency value was undesirable to the nation’s economy.

            It seemed reasonable that when Rupiah got over-volatile or over fluctuative, players of economy would panic; they were expecting Bank Indonesia to immediately take action to neutralize the market and bring back Rupiah stability. The same was expected by players of economy today as pressure on Rupiah mounted, especially due to external pressures like the crisis in Europe.

            Continual weakening of Rupiah over year end had actually kept BI busy. Market intervention by monetary authorities seemed not so satisfactory, apparently BI had not been successful in taking Rupiah out of the depth in spite of massive effort by BI to throw vast amount of USD to the market which drained Indonesia’s forex reserves.

            Understandable because BI’s intervention at the moneymarket last May had washed out at least USD 2 to 3 billion. The result was unsatisfactory because Rupiah refused to budge significantly. It strengthened for a while, but sank again dramatically.

            As guardian of Rupiah, BI did not have much choice but to make market intervention. Although guardians of the Central Bank stated that they had several options to protect Rupiah, but intervention was still the only reliable and effective means to stabilize Rupiah value against USD.

            All in all, forex reserves could not be maintained to be plentiful. Indonesia’s forex reserves by end of May 2012 dropped significantly compared to April 2012. Not less than USD 4.9 billion of Indonesia’s forex reserves had to be released in May 2012. Normally forex reserves showed a trend of up and down all through the year, but lately fast downturning was inevitable due to BI’s intervention.

            Indonesia’s forex reserves in 2012 was on January posted at USD 112 billion, February USD 112 billion, March USD 110,49 billion, April USD 116.4 billion, while in May was posted at USD 111,53 billion.

Analysts, economists and market players believed that BI must interfere the market players believed that BI must interfere the market to prevent Rupiah from sinking any deeper. Unfortunately intervention was never effective to bring Rupiah up to below Rp 9,000,- Rp 9,300 per USD due to the forceful negative sentiment of the global market.

BI’s aggressiveness in controlling Rupiah was out powered by the impact of Europe’s crisis which triggered dong anxiety. So strengthening of Rupiah toward long anxiety. So strengthening of Rupiah toward stabilization remained to be BI’s task today although the cost for it was not small. Let there be no misinterpretation, whatever the cost to stabilize Rupiah it had nothing to do with appraisal of BI’s performance because to stabilize Rupiah value was of paramount importance; the cost might be over ruled as of secondary importance. Certainly BI would not act carelessly to protect the moneymarket from speculators.

All stakeholders should just as optimistic and believe that whatever extent BI would stay strong to uphold Rupiah. This was because BI had exercised term deposits policy for foreign currency in accordance with market mechanism.

Bi had also run the policy to make it mandatory for national exporters to place their proceed from export revenues forex (DHE) to national Bank accounts instead of foreign banks abroad. This new BI policy should have been put in effect early June last. It was believed that BI’s policy would strengthen USD liquidity at home in Indonesia to fulful market demand.

Even if the crisis in Europe continued and influenced Rupiah value, BI still had the energy to uphold Rupiah. Stakeholders were pled not to be skeptical not to mention apathetic about the magnitude of BI’s fund to stabilize Rupiah. The position of forex reserves was still sufficient for taking action in case Rupiah suddenly nose dived.

Intervention by BI must be continued, not to fight against the market which was tremendously big, but to signal to stakeholders that BI was always standing by at the market. When BI supported Rupiah, domestic investors would be at ease and unrest in the domestic moneymarket could be prevented.

Business News - June 15, 2012


            Government’s oil palm policy is to continue developing oil palm in the midst of negative campaigns. “After I made a comparison, the benefit is 90%, while the negative side is only 10%. Therefore, we will continue to develop oil palm”, said Rismansyah Danusaputra, Director of Perennial Plant of Directorate General of Plantation, Agriculture Ministry.

            From import duty alone, total fund collected has reached Rp 28 trillions, and it is attempted so that several trillions of it can be used to assist farmers. “We continue to coordinate with the Finance Ministry so that the total fund from import duty can be set aside for farmers development”, he said.

            The urgent thing now is rejuvenation of smallholder plantation. State Budget (APBN) fund for rejuvenation is very limited, and could only access a few number of farmers, while those who must be rejuvenated is very expansive. “We must try so that rejuvenation will not be late. The problem is that not all farmers want to perform rejuvenation at the same time”, he said.

            Development of oil palm plantation must be sustainable. The government sets a limit on development of size oil palm plantation only at 9 million hectares. “If we increase the size drastically, it will become target of negative campaign saying that oil palm harms the environment”, he said.

            For large companies, the limitation on size of plantation area can be controlled by licensing mechanism. Oil palm licenses are limited. But, for self-supporting farmers, oil palm development cannot be limited”, he said.

            “In accordance with Law on Plant Cultivation, we cannot prohibit farmers from planting oil palm. Currently, in South Sumatera, Riau and Jambi, oil palm is planted among paddy. In South Sumatera, I saw that the intercropping between paddy and oil palm causes the plants to grow properly”.

            Development of prime oil palm seed is continuously performed by 11 oil palm seed is continuously preformed by 11 oil palm sprout companies. “The government is very grateful to private companies who have developed oil prime seeds. Development of new clones should be the responsibility of the government. The government is incapable of doing this, so it is performed by private parties”, he said.

            Each company has a specialty. There is a company who produces ganoderma-resistant seeds, and another company who produces peat soil seeds, etc. The good quality oil palm seeds produced by Indonesian companies can be seen from Malaysian companies who made investment in Indonesia. “Formerly, they brought seeds from Malaysian, now they started to buy oil palm seeds from Indonesia. And, in the opening of a plantation in Serawak, the seeds are bought from Indonesia”.

            Farmers’ awareness of oil palm planting is very high. Some of them have planted oil palm for 5-10 years and now they will cut their oil palm trees and receive prime seed assistance because their oil palm have not been producing qualified fruits due to the use of fake seeds.

            Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) audit has been conducted and there are 40 companies who are ready to obtain ISPO. So that cost for obtaining ISPO will be cheaper, the company is required to send an internal auditor to prepare everything that must be performed. This will be much cheaper and faster instead of hiring an external auditor.

            ISPO principle and criteria for farmers, whether plasma or self-supporting farmers, will be complete this month. “ISPO has been recognized by overseas buyers, so if it is delayed, the implementation will cause difficulty to all oil palm business operators”, he said.

Business News - June 15, 2012


           State-owned enterprises locally abbreviated to BUMN have taken a center of spotlight again and the reality is not something new. Business units belonging to the government have frequently taken the center of public spotlights but the present cause is different from the past. Now, statement of top leader of the state companies causes the public to shift their attention to the state companies.

        As reported on mass media, Minister of State owned Enterprises Dahlan Iskan disclosed in an anticorruption seminar held in the building of Anti-graft commission (KPK) that some 70% of the contractors within BUMN has committed bribery to secure government projects The statement is based on internal survey by the Ministry of BUMN. Conclusively, some 70% of the contractors of BUMN admitted bribery is needed to obtain projects indeed.

        The first reaction comes from KPK. The institution expressed the readiness to follow up the finding of the Minister. In this context, KPK indeed is assigned to follow the alleged corruption in state administrator institutions even though Dhalan only threw ball and had no intention to uncover the bad conduct. Demand for uncovering the alleged corruption in projects of BUMN even came from Deputy Speaker of House’s Commission VI  Benny K Harman. Benny said that Dahlan must dare uncover corruption practices in BUMN and point directly whoever playing in various projects.

      Related to BUMN, indeed the business unites of the government are always close analogy indicating unfairness and dirty game. Dairy cow is any of the pronunciations really attaching to BUMN so far because state officials and politicians have treated the state companies as dairy cow for decades. In view of the fact, it’s not wrong if Deputy Chairman of KPK Busyro Muqoddas said in the same seminar that BUMN turn chaotic because of intervention from elite groups of political parties. It results in dynamics cornering BUMN to become extortion object of politicians and state officials and unit wherein bribery grows to obtain government projects.

          Growing bribery within BUMN is allegedly attributable to stiffer competition to obtain projects. Talking about project, we must be careful in judging and commenting in relation to BUMN. It’s important to remind that BUMN is a business unit becoming a lengthy arm of the government so that the outcomes would be felt truly by Indonesian people if they are managed properly and accountably. Benefits contributed by the group may be higher than those from private business units. In this point, the fall of projects into BUMN should be deemed as something good as long as it does not violate the law. Above all, anticorruption principle and vision must be enforced without respecter. If the bribery accusation addressed to state owned construction companies is proven, penalty should be imposed.

      In addition, state companies also need to continue improving and increasing contribution to national development because they not only play role as business entity but also represent the state and government in breeding values of Pancasila and collective wisdom on the basis of democracy principles. The state companies are spotlighted from negative perspective again because the business units are expected to improve performance so to contribute greater to development and the people’s welfare.

Jakarta, June 8, 2011

Business News - June 13, 2012


            The Board of Financial Examination (BPK)’s rating for Central Government’s Financial Report (LKPP) 2011 was qualified opinion. Beside extending qualified opinion for LKPP, BPK also mentioned that account of LKPP 2011 was less than LKPP 2010. This was disclosed by Chairman of LKPP Hadi Purnomo in presenting report of BPK examination outcome on Central Government’s LKPP Financial Report 2011 during House’s Plenary Report at the House of Representatives.

            The lessened number of account signaled positive performance thanks to Government’s hard work to step up quality of financial report. Opinion for LKPP was in line with stepping up quality of financial report by Government ministries or institutions and Financial report of State’s General Treasury (LKBUN).

            Opinion for LKKL and LKBUN which was the main element of LKPP showed remarkable progress. The number of ministries and Government’s institutions which got qualified opinion (WTP) from BPK had been continuing to increase year after year.

            In 2008 there were 35 KL/BA BUN which received qualified opinion, further increasing to 45 in 2009 numbering 53 KL/BA BUN in 2010 and 267 KL/BA in 2011. Furthermore review outcome of 2011 showed that of 45 criteria being stipulated, 22 of them had been fulfilled, another 22 not fully fulfilled and one criterion not fulfilled.

            Meanwhile the problems that caused unqualified opinion of LKPP 2011 was incompatibility with Government’s Standard of Accountancy (SAP), weakness in internal control, and disobedience to the stipulations of law and regulation. 

Business News - June 6, 2012

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Louboutin loses case to stop Zara selling red-soled shoes

  • Designer had sued High Street chain for copying his heels.
  • French court rules customers will not be confused between designer version and cut-price pair and orders Louboutin to pay compensation.
The distinctive scarlet soles have become an instantly recognizable marker of the brand, a stamp of taste and quality.

But Christian Louboutin’s red-bottomed shoes could face competition from high street lookalikes after a court ruled fashion chain Zara could sell heels in the same colour.

Louboutin initially sued the Spanish brand in 2008, claiming that an open- toed red-soled shoe it was selling for £40 was similar to its Yo Yo style.

However a French court ruled that Zara’s cut-price shoe could not be confused with that made by the high-end designer.

And last week the Cour de Cassation – the final court of appeal – upheld the decision.

It also ruled that Louboutin, whose shoes are favoured by celebrities including Victoria Beckham and Sarah Jessica Parker and cost hundreds of pounds a pair, must pay the chain £2,000 in compensation.

Alexis Mourot, group chief operating officer and general manager of Christian Louboutin, said the company would continue defending its soles.

In 2008, Louboutin registered a trademark, claiming the exclusive right to make shoes with red soles for women’s high fashion designer footwear.

And last year the shoemaker accused designer Yves Saint Laurent of copying his celebrated red-soled footwear, when he used a similar theme in his 2011 resort collection.

That lawsuit resulted in a high-court appeal case in the US, the verdict of which is yet to be decided.

Earlier this year, Louboutin told French newspaper Libération why the cause is important to him and his brand identity and that he is aware he cannot 'monopolies' a colour.

He said: I understand that, but it is a red in a specific context, there is Ferrari red [and] Hermès orange.

Even in the food industry, Cadbury recently won a lawsuit against Nestlé for using purple packaging.

All this proves that the colours play a part in a brand's identity. I'm not saying that red usually belongs to me - I repeat that this is about a precise red, used in a precise location.

Louboutin said that he came up with the idea for his red sole heels, which are favoured by celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker and Victoria Beckham, nearly 20 years ago, when he painted red nail polish on the black soles of a pair of women's shoes.

His lawsuit against YSL reads: Mr Louboutin is the first designer to develop the idea of having red soles on women's shoes.

The location of the bright colour on the outsole of a woman’s pump is said to provide an alluring flash of red when a woman walks down the street, or on the red carpet of a special event.

Mail Online – June 11, 2012 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


             Forestry Minister, Zulkifli Hasan, claimed that deforestation or forest damage rate decreases drastically since the establishment of United Indonesia Cabinet II and after the application of moratorium on license for exploitation of primary forest and peatland that has been going on for a year.

            Deforestation rate which in 1996-2003 reaches 3.5 million hectares per year drops sharply to 450,00 hectares in 2009-2011. It means that logging moratorium has yielded a result and is proven affective in reducing forest damage, he said.

            He recorded that deforestation rate during the New Order administration in 1980-1996 reaches 2 million hectares. And, in 1996-2003 it increases sharply to 3.5 million hectares per year, decreases again in 2006-2010 to 80,000 hectares per year and to 450,000 hectares in 2010-2012.

            According to Minister, the moratorium did not hamper investment in forestry sector, especially development of Industrial Forest (HTI) or non-forestry activity especially plantation.

            Concerning moratorium as governed by Presidential Instruction No. 10/2011, he said that the government has issued an Indicative Map of Moratorium on New Permit Issuance (PIPIB) which becomes the latest data of the PIPIB stipulating that size of forest area under moratorium is 65,282,006 hectares.

Forestry Ministry Corrects indicative Map on Moratorium.

            Jakata (ANTARA News) Forestry Ministry  corrects size of forest are imposed with moratorium in second revision of the indicative map to 65,282,006 hectares or different from the previous version issued by the Presidential Work Unit for Development Supervision and Control (UKP4) at 65,753,810 hectares.

            Size of are second revision of moratorium on new permit issuance becomes 65,282,006 hectares or 92,245 hectares less than the first revision in November last year at 65,374,251 hectares, said the Minister in a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday (May 24).

            According to him, size of forest at are under the second revision of the Forestry Ministry version is obtained because of reduction of forest size at 125,961 hectares and addition of size of concession peatland area Rawa Tripa in Aceh at 33,716 hectares.

            In the implementation of revision of PIPIB, the Forestry Ministry gets many latest reports and field surveys and inputs from various public reports.
            We conducted a peatland survey, confirmation from the regents and holders of location permit, result of primary forest survey, data on forest area release, and updating of land piece at the recommendation of the National Land Agency (BPN), said the Minister.

            The Director General of Planology of the Forestry Ministry, Bambang Soepijanto, said that difference in size of the indicative map of Forestry Ministry version and the one of UKP4 version is in data calculation. UKP4 still includes size of are 463,962 hectares that have been released by the Forestry Ministry so there is a difference in data?, he said.

            Formerly, UKP4 releases size of second revision of indicative map to increase by 379,000 hectares to 65,753,810 hectares.

            The indicative map of moratorium on forest concession is revised once in every six months to increase accuracy of data on size of forest area based on addition and reduction of area covered in the moratorium.   

Business News - June 1, 2012  


             The Ministry of Public Works, through aid program of the Asia Development Bank extended grant amounting to USD 600 million for Community Based Urban Sanitation Program (SPBM) as part of the support for PNPM Mandiri Urban Plan. This Government plan was based on the fact that there were still 40 million people (of Indonesia’s 240 million population) who were still below standard in terms of toilet application.

            The Directorate General of Cipta Karya, Ministry of Public Works disclosed that the ADB fund would further be presented to through in the from of Direct Aid for People (BLM) though facilitation by regency administrations and municipality at central and provincial level.

            The allocated fund would be used for physical development of community based sanitation facilities and accompanying consultant at national and regional level to assist on the managerial side of the project.

            The USRI SPBM Program was among the Government’s effort to meet MDG’s target in sanitation, i.e. to step up sanitation services to adequate level in urban and rural areas to reach 62.41% in 2015. SPBM USRI was gradually exercised in 1,350 districts and 34 chosen regencies/cities in five provinces, i.e. Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, South Sulawesi and North Sulawesi. Every target location in each regency/city would receive aid worth Rp 350 thousand to serve around 70 to 100 families.

            Regencies and cities which were entitled to get SPBM were regencies/cities and has attended the PPSP program of 2009-2010 and made a statement that they were interested in building community based water treatment project though participation at SPBM. 

Business News - June 1, 2012