Louboutin Sees Red, Loses to YSL
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The trademark red soles of Christian Louboutin shoes may be showing up soon in Payless Shoe Stores.
In case you missed it, Louboutin filed a petition earlier this month for a preliminary injunction against Yves Saint Laurent, which was accused of trademark infringement for shoes that featured red soles similar to those of Louboutin’s.
On August 10, a judge ruled that allowing Louboutin to claim that scarlet sole as its own would have been like forbidding Monet from using a specific shade of blue in his Water Lilies series because Picasso had been there first with paintings from his Blue Period, and thus did not grant the injunction.
In fact, it is also possible that the judge will altogether cancel Louboutin’s U.S.trademark for the high-fashion red-soled women’s shoes. A decision was set to be made August 19 in regards to the lacquered red sole trademark, held by Louboutin since 2008, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero said he will delay a ruling while Louboutin appeals his decision regarding the injunction.
“Color serves ornamental and aesthetic functions vital to robust competition,” the judge said at the August 10 hearing. “Louboutin is unlikely to be able to prove that its red outsole brand is entitled to trademark protection.”
So how do you feel about the red? Should it belong to Louboutin, or should shoe designers everywhere be allowed to feature red soles?
Yves Saint Laurent’s Palais pump
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