Christian Louboutin is notorious for their red sole sky scraping shoes. But should that mean no other brand can use red on the soles of their shoes? They certainly seem to think so.
Recently, the brand filed a law suit against Yves Saint Laurent because YSL was also selling shoes with red soles, which Louboutin claims to have trademarked in 2008. They filed a injunction against YSL in order to cease sales of the red soled shoes while the case was being tried but ultimately, the judge ruled that Louboutin's trademark was not valid and that a brand cannot trademark a color. This ruling was a blow to Louboutin, as the brand claims that the red sole is vital to their recognition as a brand and the public associates the red sole with the brand. Louboutin has since filed an appeal, citing that the Judge made "Errors of law in determining that Louboutin’s red outsole mark was likely invalid.”
Although the case likely won't be decided until Spring, it could have broader implications for the fashion industry. Should the Judge uphold the ruling or deny the appeal, any brand will be able to use red soles on their shoes, which would likely have a negative impact on Louboutin's business. By upholding the ruling, this case could set a precedent for many companies in terms of trademark issues, including Tiffany & Company, which has a trademark on the color Tiffany Blue.
Do you think that Christian Louboutin should be able to trademark the red soles? If they lose the appeal, will people stop buying the shoes?
Article and Image from WWD.com.