Christian Louboutin Is Back In Court To Defend Its Red Sole Trademark
Alright, it’s official — if you ever see a pair of USA-made heels with a bright red sole and a contrasting color for the rest of the shoe, those heels better be by Christian Louboutin, otherwise another lawsuit is going to be going around. However, the same cannot be said in Europe. According to The Fashion Law, Christian Louboutin is back in court to defend its red sole trademark. You might remember hearing that the company sued Yves Saint Laurent in 2012 over the issue. While the trademark is valid in the US, it's not official in Europe, which is why they're back in the legal spotlight.
In 2012, Yves Saint Laurent’s heels were put into question because of a fully-colored bright red shoe, heel included. The ruling was in favor of the defendant, YSL, making it OK for a shoe to have a red sole if the rest of the shoe is also red. However, Louboutin did successfully win the rights to a red sole when the color of the sole is in contrast with the color of the shoe’s upper.
Just because the hustle ‘n bustle around the whole YSL ordeal was brought to a close does not mean Louboutin’s work is finished. Dutch shoemaker, Van Haren, has been continuously selling a contrasting red-soled styled heel from its 5th Avenue by Halle Berry collection. Louboutin filed a lawsuit on Haren back in 2013, but Haren was able to appeal the suit because the 5th Avenue heels “lacked distinctiveness.”
It looks like designers now have a loophole to jump through if anyone ever wants to create a bright red-soled pair of heels. Louboutin is going to have to really crack down on the description of their trademarked heels if they really want to keep all red-soled heels to their brand.
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