Friday, April 8, 2011

Louboutin's Red Soles

Christian Louboutin has filed a lawsuit against Yves St. Laurent for trademark infringement, because Yves St. Laurent is selling shoes with red soles:
Louboutin, based in Paris, said Yves Saint Laurent is selling shoes with red soles that are “virtually identical” to its own, according to a suit filed today in federal court in Manhattan. It seeks a court injunction against the sale of the shoes and damages of at least $1 million.

Saint Laurent has been selling red-sole shoes under brand names such as Tribute, Palais and Woodstock at high-end fashion stores that also sell Louboutin footwear, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman, according to the complaint.
What's interesting about this to me is that I never realized Christian Louboutin had trademarked the red soles.  Here is the registration for it, and the mark is described as "The color(s) red is/are claimed as a feature of the mark. The color red appears in the design representing a stylized red sole." 

Very cool.  I don't see how Yves St. Laurent gets out of this one, but this sounds pretty bold:
Louboutin was informed by Yves Saint Laurent executives by letter in January that they planned to “continue to sell the infringing footwear,” the lawsuit states.
Louboutin shouldn't have any trouble; even without the trademark the red soles are their thing.

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