Christian Louboutin is seeing red, and not just on the solesof his shoes. The designer was ruled against in an American controversy, where the eponymous shoe brand requested to stop the sales of red-soled shoes made by French rival Yves Saint Laurent. The judge said Louboutin wouldn't likely be able to prove that its own ever-present red soles deserve trademark protection.
Louboutin filed suit in federal court in Manhattan earlier this year alleging some YSL shoes featured soles in shades of red that were the same or similar to its own, which are protected by a 2008 award from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Louboutin sought a preliminary injunction to prevent PPR SA's YSL from selling the shoes while the suit is pending. The judge, however, concluded that Louboutin isn't likely to win its central claim and denied the injunction as a result.
"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," Judge Victor Marrero wrote in his opinion.