French luxury shoe designer Christian Louboutin has recently been plagued by the patent to protect his iconic red-soled shoes, and has repeatedly resorted to courts to apply for trademark protection.
In 2016, “Glory” reported that the Federal Administrative Court rejected the application of Christian Louboutin and refused to include its red-soled shoes as trademark-protected goods. (For details, see the report of “Glory”: The Swiss court rejected the Louboutin appeal and refused to provide trademark protection for its iconic red-soled shoes. In February this year, another court adviser stated that the court had no right to stop sales of other designers and retailers. Similar red shoe products. (See “Glory” report: Christian Louboutin in the Netherlands for trademark protection for red shoes, then hit the wall)
The Court of Justice of the European Union is currently reviewing the case and expects to make a decision in the next few months. However, there have been a lot of articles on the Internet recently, and it is rumored that Christian Louboutin may lose the patent for red shoes. .
However, Christian Louboutin apparently did not want to lose the patent for red shoes, and tried to clarify the problem by legal means. The brand said in the statement: “We registered the trademark as early as 2007.” Since then, Christian Louboutin has undertaken about 20 lawsuits, although it is a costly expense, but this is the The company invests in maintaining its reputation and business.
Since 2012, Christian Louboutin has complained to the Dutch court that Van Haren, a Dutch high-end fashion retailer, has allegedly infringed on his patent design for red-soled shoes and sold cheap red-soled high heels, hoping to seek legal protection. Christian Louboutin pointed out that Van Haren’s Fifth Avenue by Halle Berry series of high-heeled shoes infringed the trademark patent of its red-soled shoes. The red of the soles of Christian Louboutin red shoes has been registered in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, specifically “a specific red color used on the sole” (PANTONE 18 -1663TP).
In this case, Christian Louboutin eventually won the lawsuit, and Van Haren was banned from continuing to sell red shoes. At the same time, Christian Louboutin filed a claim asking Van Haren to pay the loss and interest. But Van Haren also questioned the validity of the “red sole red” trademark patent. The Hague Court submitted the case to the EU Supreme Court, hoping that the EU Supreme Court could make a preliminary ruling.
On February 6th, Maciej Szpunar, General Counsel of the Supreme Court of the European Union, said that the red trademark of Christian Louboutin red shoes can only be protected by EU trademark law when considering the shape of the product.
The Hague Court will then rule on the allegations made by Van Haren, Maciej Szpunar pointed out that in order to assess whether the shape of the mark brings value to the product, it is necessary to consider its intrinsic value rather than the brand or its owner.
Christian Louboutin expressed confidence in the court’s assessment, because Christian Louboutin’s inherent uniqueness and high quality make the trademark worthwhile, and the red itself or the shape of the sole is not attractive to consumers.
Christian Louboutin added: “The value of red-soled shoes comes from its reputation. It is the reputation that Christian Louboutin has continued to use the iconic red-soled shoes for 25 years and insisted on marketing. So now the general public will put the red high-heeled soles with ours. Brands are linked.”
Christian Louboutin stressed that the EU Supreme Court has not yet ruled that it is expected to make a decision between May and July 2018, when the EU Supreme Court will decide whether the standard for product shape trademarks applies to the Christian Louboutin red shoes trademark. If the answer is yes and the standard can be applied, the case will be handed over to the Hague Court.
On the other hand, if the Hague Court ruled that the red trademark registered by Christian Louboutin could not enjoy the legal protection of the registered trademark, the counterfeiter could use this legal loophole to obtain great benefits.
Christian Louboutin has been involved in the red shoe lawsuit in recent years:
On April 7, 2011, Christian Louboutin filed a lawsuit in the federal court in Manhattan, New York, suing the French luxury brand PSL (now known as Kering), the French luxury brand YSL plagiarism red shoes, demanding to stop the infringement and claim millions of dollars, and finally Gained an incomplete victory. (For details, see “Glory” report: “Memorabilia: Christian Louboutin v. YSL plagiarism red shoes”
In 2013, at the request of the Brussels court, participants in the political demonstrations in Belgium were forced to remove all posters with Christian Louboutin high heels.