Louboutin wins European Union trademark dispute over red soles

Lifestyle       by Aleena Raheel | Published

'The protection of Christian Louboutin's red sole trademark is strengthened by the European Court of Justice, ' Louboutin said in a statement reported by Reuters.

The Dutch company took the case to the EU court citing European regulations that shapes by themselves can not be registered as trademarks.

FILE PHOTO: A shoe by French designer Christian Louboutin is seen during a media viewing of his retrospective exhibition at the Design Museum in London on April 30, 2012.

"The commercial impact is that brands that have invested heavily in branding and product positioning based on distinctive trademarks should be able to protect their brands against competitors seeking to gain an unfair advantage", he said.

Away from the world's fashion capitals and red carpet events, Christian Loubotin shoes has had to battle with Dutch high street brand Van Haren in the European Court of Justice over the use of the signature red-soled heels.

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Louboutin started the legal action in 2012, when Van Haren brought out a range of shoes by actress Halle Berry which included high heeled shoes with red soles.

The Dutch court will be bound by Tuesday's European Union court decision.

"The case will now go back before the Dutch court, but it seems likely that Louboutin will be allowed to develop a monopoly for red-soled high-heeled shoes".

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. "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.

"The ruling is very short, which is very rare, and it's very clear", he said. "This decision is beyond appeal".

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