Louboutin turns red

Further to our post yesterday about the war in the US between Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent,  Louboutin has seen some success in the European Union.

His trademark (left) has been accepted by the European Trademarks Office after an appeal against the refusal of this mark.

The mark is now registered for high heels and shows the description “the trademark consists of the color red (Pantone 18.1663TP) applied to the sole of a shoe as shown”.

The European Trademarks Office is not really keen on this kind of position marks. Recently the European Court of Justice confirmed a refusal of the European Trademarks Office of a sock with a red upper part.

In respect of Louboutin, there were several reasons for the approval of the trademark. First of all, Louboutin limited the application to only shoes with high heels. Furthermore, soles are usually black or brown (not bright red) and the chosen color red is a very distinctive color. Finally the documents submitted by the applicant evidencing the presence of distinctiveness were very persuasive.

Unfortunately for Louboutin, two oppositions have now been filed against his trademark.  Two German companies do not agree with this trademark and seem to rely on unregistered rights to a red sole. It is the question whether Louboutin will encounter serious problems in relation to these unregistered rights, but due to these oppositions Louboutin is facing a further delay.

Arnaud Bos

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