Trademark Law

Red is Not Solely Louboutin's Domain, Federal Judge Rules, Denying Injunction in Designer Shoe Case


A federal district court judge in Manhattan has ruled against Christian Louboutin SA in a hard-fought case over high-end red-soled women’s shoes.

Judge Victor Marrero today denied the Paris-based fashion company’s motion for a preliminary injunction that would have barred top competitor Yves Saint Laurent from selling similar shoes while Louboutin’s trademark-infringement case was litigated, Bloomberg reports.

“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 explained in a written opinion.

A lawyer for YSL said his client will now file a summary judgment motion asking Marrero to dismiss the case and cancel Louboutin’s 2008 trademark registration.

Attorney Harley Lewin of McCarter & English represents Louboutin. His client is very disappointed with the ruling, he says. “We think the judge missed it.”

Another hearing in the case is expected to take place next week.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Louboutin Hopes to Stomp Out Rival’s Red-Soled Shoes with Trademark Suit”

ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer for YSL Points to Oz’s Dorothy in Red-Soled Shoe Case; Louboutin Injunction Unresolved”

CultureMap Houston: “Seeing red: Judge denies Christian Louboutin’s claim to sole exclusivity”

Daily Mail: “Christian Louboutin denied injunction in court battle over rival brands’ right to use red sole”

Women’s Wear Daily: “Court Denies Louboutin Injunction Against YSL”

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