The next round in the legal battle between the two famed French fashion houses, Christian Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent, has both companies claiming victory. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s denial of trademark protection to Louboutin’s use of contrasting red lacquered outsoles and holding that a single color can never serve as a trademark in the fashion industry. “We hold that the lacquered red outsole, as applied to a shoe with an ‘upper’ of a different color, has come to identify and distinguish the Louboutin brand and is therefore a distinctive symbol that qualifies for trademark protection,” the Court found.
However, the Second Circuit did not reverse the district court’s denial of the preliminary injunction because the YSL shoe at issue was a monochromatic red shoe, and therefore, would not violate Louboutin’s trademark incontrasting red lacquered outsoles.
Click here for a copy of the Second Circuit opinion.