Intellectual Property

2nd Circuit OKs Trademark Protection for French Designer Christian Louboutin's Red-Soled Shoes

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Pop star Rihanna wearing thigh-high
Christian Louboutin boots. Featureflash

Disagreeing with a federal district court that earlier denied a preliminary injunction sought by a French designer after another high-fashion industry icon allegedly infringed on his trademarked red-soled shoes, a federal appeals court Wednesday said that Christian Louboutin is entitled to seek a legal remedy except when the shoes in question are entirely red.

Calling the district court’s conclusion that a single color can never be trademarked mistaken, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the red soles had acquired “secondary meaning” under the Lanham Act as a recognizable emblem of the Louboutin brand. It hence ruled that the preliminary injunction against Yves Saint Laurent should have been granted so far as red-soled shoes with upper portions in contrasting colors are concerned.

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog provides a copy of the opinion (PDF).

Previous and Reuters articles further describe the hard-fought shoe dispute, in which Yves Saint Laurent has made counterclaims.

Red-soled Louboutin shoes, which can cost $1,000 a pair, are worn by a number of celebrities.

Hat tip: Associated Press.

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