Louboutin wins next stage of red sole battle against Dutch shoe retailer

Lloyd Doyle
June 13, 2018

Christian Louboutin's battle to protect his trademark red soles was given a lift on Tuesday (Jun 12) when the European Union's top court said they did not consist exclusively of a shape, which are usually not protected under EU trademark law. Red soles are the trademark of Louboutin and is a hit amongst Hollywood.

"The European Court of Justice today confirmed that the legal regime governing shape trademarks does not apply to Christian Louboutin " s "red sole' mark".

The European Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that Van Haren, a Dutch company that sold similar shoes, had infringed the trade mark.

The lawyer added: "It is significant that in the U.S. and some other counties in Europe, Louboutin has already successfully secured trade mark protection for its red sole shoe design".

However, the court has gone against the recommendations of the advocate general and found in favour of the French brand.

In a statement, Louboutin said: "For 26 years, the red sole has enabled the public to attribute the origin of the shoe to its creator, Christian Louboutin".

But the judges found that while a shape does create an outline for the colour on Louboutin's red soles, that shape was not what the trademark was seeking to protect.

Under EU law, shapes can not be registered as trademarks and Van Haren argued that the soles of shoes are therefore not trademarked.

While Louboutin has been victorious in trademark litigation in the USA - the designer successfully sued YSL in 2012 for trademark infringement - the brand has seen mixed rulings in other regions.

"The ruling is very short, which is very rare, and it's very clear", he said. "This is a total victory for the brand and we are very pleased that it confirms the registration of the brand for all of Europe", he told WWD. "This decision is beyond appeal".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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