Star shoemaker Christian Louboutin is not a happy
camper cordovan today. Known for his to-die-for, red-soled high-fashion shoes, Louboutin has lost his bid to prevent the sale of similar shoes made by Yves Saint Laurent with his signature red-hued bottom—so says a U.S. federal judge.
In a nutshell, the judge said that Louboutin did not have a patent on the color red and, as such, did not deserve trademark protection. Pfwww...for a second there I thought I'd have to give back my red hair.
The Wall Street Journal does report that the company did win "a trademark for red soles from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2008 and filed suit against PPR SA's YSL in federal court in Manhattan earlier this year, alleging some of its competitor's shoes featured soles in shades of red that were uncomfortably close to its own." Federal Judge Marrero, however, did not agree with the decision.
"Because in the fashion industry color serves ornamental and aesthetic functions vital to robust competition, the court finds that Louboutin is unlikely to be able to prove that its red outsole brand is entitled to trademark protection," the judge wrote.