Long Live Louboutin's Red Sole, YSL Why Don't You Go Cry About It
Sep 06, 2012 - by Emily Draznik
Yves Saint Laurent's Resort 2011 line featured a red suede pump with a red sole and Christian Louboutin sued claiming trademark infringement of the brand's signature red sole. In August 2011, a Federal Judge denied the request that the copycat shoe be blocked from sale stating, 'Louboutin is unlikely to be able to prove that its red outsole brand is entitled to trademark protection'.
Now a little over a year later, the decision has been overturned by the appellate court of New York stating that hereafter Louboutin has rights to trademark the red sole, except when the shoe is red.
Granted, it's impossible to trademark a color. While brands like Valentino may be known for red being their signature color, they cannot legally forbid any other label from using the red. Now with Louboutin (where every pair of their shoes has a red sole) another shoe by a different brand with a red sole can easily be mistaken. Christian Louboutin is also a shoe brand representing a higher status symbol than other designers. Therefore in Louboutin's case, the red sole can be trademarked and protected from copycats by the law.
Now it's safe to say that you won't be saying any red soled döppelgangers on the market in the future unless they want to get their a**es dragged to court. And lose. So meanwhile until our bank accounts grow to a substantial size, it looks like we will have to wait for the real thing if we want our soles to be as red as our lips.