Christian Louboutin wins battle over trademarking red-soled shoes

  • Christian Louboutin wins battle over trademarking red-soled shoes

Christian Louboutin wins battle over trademarking red-soled shoes

Louboutin had brought the case in the Netherlands after Van Haren began selling red-soled shoes in 2012, and a district court in The Hague referred it to the ECJ.

"The case will now go back before the Dutch court, but it seems likely that Louboutin will be allowed to develop a monopoly for red-soled high-heeled shoes".

The case will go back to a Dutch court which had sought the European Union tribunal's advice in a dispute between the French fashion designer and a Dutch retail shoe shop that started selling red-soled women's shoes, arguing that Louboutin should never have gotten a trademark protection in the first place.

The European Court of Justice today handed down a favorable ruling for the luxury label, supporting its claim that a specific shade of red on the soles of its shoes qualifies as a distinct and recognizable characteristic of the brand.

The ECJ's advocate general, who provides legal advice to the court, had found against Louboutin, but the judges rejected this advice.

In 2014 the case was referred to the European court for clarification and past year, advocate general Maciej Szpunar said in his advice to the court that it should find in Van Haren's favour in a complicated ruling about shape and colour.

Under EU law companies can not trademark common shapes of products such as the soles of shoes.

The ruling strengthens Maison Christian Louboutin's trademark protection, the French company said in a statement. "[The company] warmly welcomes this judgement".

In December, Louboutin was awarded nearly 10 lakh rupees ($156,078) in damages and a permanent injunction against two shoe dealers - Kamal Family Footwear and Adra Steps - for infringing on his red-sole trademark in India. "This is a total victory for the brand and we are very pleased that it confirms the registration of the brand for all of Europe", he told WWD.