Gucci and Guess
Spot the difference: Three of Gucci’s (L) registered trademarks were nullified in a Milan court based on a counterclaim filed by Guess (R) in 2009.

Italian fashion house Gucci has lost an epic court battle against American clothing line brand Guess.

The two high-end labels have been embroiled in a four-year legal battle over allegations that Guess duplicated Gucci's logo on a line of shoes.

A Milan court ruled in favour of Guess, nullifying several of Gucci's Italian pattern trademarks - including the "G" stamp.

Designers now have free rein to use a G logo in any of their signature patterns after the court said that it was common in the world of fashion and separate from the brand's famous interlocking double G logo.

The court's decision comes weeks after a New York court found Guess in breach of Gucci's signatures and awarded the Italian fashion house $4.7m (£2.9m). This was later decreased to $456,183 (£290,199).

Paul Marciano, CEO of Guess, said of the latest ruling: "The Italian court in Milan ruled against each and every single claim that Gucci filed against Guess four years ago.

"The tactics of Gucci are nothing less than bullying. Because of their endless resources, Gucci has been forum shopping all over the world to try to stop Guess from expanding its successful accessories business. It's fundamentally wrong and unconscionable.

"There are global trends that Gucci itself follows as anyone does in fashion; they are no different from Guess in that regard," he added.

Gucci still has ongoing suits against Guess in China and France.