Thoughts on current legal news in media, technology and the arts

Louboutin Loses: The Red-Soled Plot Continues

Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 | Posted by Lizbeth Hasse, Esq. | Labels: , ,

Footwear designer Christian Louboutin, has just suffered another set-back in the company’s ongoing effort to own the red sole, this time in Louboutin’s native France. In 2008, Louboutin filed a lawsuit in Paris against Spanish clothing manufacturer and retailer Zara, after Zara sold a red-soled shoe.  This May, the French Cour de Cassation (the French appeals court) irrevocably invalidated Louboutin’s trademark to the red sole in France. 

The decision appeared to rest on what some might consider a technicality, with the Cour de Cassation noting that Louboutin’s France trademark registration lacked a specific Pantone color reference, a standardized color reproduction code used universally in a variety of industries and in trademark registration[1]. Accordingly, the Cour de Cassation faulted the registration for its lack of precision and distinctiveness.

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