Friday, September 21, 2012

In the case of Louboutin v YSL, Red bottoms are officially Trademarked and Protected

In a U.S. Court of Appeal decision on Sept. 5, 2012, the court concluded that Christian Louboutin's red-bottom high heeled shoes are officially trademark protected because it does have a secondary meaning. Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent Am., Inc., 778 F. Supp. 2d 445, 451 (S.D.N.Y. 2011).
Secondary meaning applied in this case "means" that Louboutin's shoes are so synonymous with him and his brand that mostly everyone would know that a red-bottomed shoe is associated with him and his brand.

This decision reversed the District Court's holding that a single color can never serve as a trademark in the fashion industry. However, this decision did not grant Louboutin the injunction against YSL that he requested inorder to stop YSL from selling his monochromatic red shoe.

Fashion Legallaire's assertion:  The court got it right because YSL did not make a shoe with just a red bottom, he made an "all red" or a "red-all over" shoe making it a different fashion design from Louboutin's. Therefore, the court is correct in that YSL's shoe would not be confused with Louboutin's as to dilute and infringe upon his design as to constitute design piracy (see last blog to learn more information on design piracy). 

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