June 12, 2018 / 8:58 AM / 6 days ago

Louboutin wins EU court battle over trademark red soles

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Christian Louboutin’s battle to protect his trademark red soles was given a lift on Tuesday when the European Union’s top court said they did not consist exclusively of a shape, which are usually not protected under EU trade mark law.

FILE PHOTO: Fashion designer Christian Louboutin at the 89th Academy Awards - Oscars Vanity Fair Party, California, 26th February 2017. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo

The judges at the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) did not follow the advice of the advocate general who said in February that the red colour could not be considered apart from the shape of the sole.

“The mark does not relate to a specific shape of sole for high-heeled shoes since the description of that mark explicitly states that the contour of the shoe does not form part of the mark and is intended purely to show the positioning of the red colour covered by the registration,” the ECJ said in a statement.

The French designer went to court in The Netherlands to prevent the Dutch high street chain Van Haren from selling its own versions of high-heeled shoes with red soles, a favourite on celebrity red carpets.

A Dutch court had asked the ECJ if the prohibition on the registration of shapes as trademarks also applied to shapes combining three-dimensional properties of a product and other characteristics such as colours.

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 April 30, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo

The court in The Hague will deliver the final ruling on the matter based on the ECJ decision.

Louboutin, founded in 1991, claimed victory and “warmly” welcomed the ruling.

“The protection of Christian Louboutin’s red sole trademark is strengthened by the European Court of Justice,” Louboutin said in a statement. “The red colour applied on the sole of a woman’s high heel shoe is a position mark, as Maison Christian Louboutin has maintained for many years.”

FILE PHOTO: A pair of boots by French designer Christian Louboutin are seen during a media viewing of his retrospective exhibition at the Design Museum in London April 30, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo

The ECJ said that a trademark, such as Louboutin’s, could not be regarded as consisting “exclusively” of a shape, where the main element is a specific colour designated by an internationally recognised identification code.

Reporting by Julia Fioretti, editing by Louise Heavens

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below