Those expensive red soled shoes will remain exclusive to Christian Louboutin.
Yves St. Laurent had contested the trademark, arguing that a red sole is not distinctive as much as ornamental and as such should not have been registered to Louboutin. St. Laurent also contended that he had used red soles on his shoes as early as the 1970’s and as recently as 2008 without any objection by Louboutin.
But, the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York recently determined that Louboutin was entitled to protect his brand. It did, however, instruct the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to limit registration to situations where the red lacquered sole contrasts in color with the rest of the shoe.
Talk about seeing red.
Patrick C. Barthet, Esquire
Founder and President
The Barthet Firm