A Swedish court has denied famed French shoe designer Christian Louboutin’s bid to register as a protected brand in Sweden. The court found that instead of being recognized as a protected brand, the red soles of Louboutin’s shoes were a mere decorative feature of the shoe’s design. As a mere decorative feature, the court found that the relevant consumers, mostly women, would recognize the red sole only as a decorative element and not as the brand itself. Louboutin may appeal the decision to Sweden’s highest court.
Louboutin has been very aggressive in protecting and enforcing his IP rights recently. Here in the US, Louboutin holds a trademark in class 25 for Pantone 18-1663TP (Registration No. 3376197) for soles on his high heels. His trademark has been registered here in the United States for eight years. In 2012, Louboutin received a favorable ruling for his trademark red soles when the Second Circuit upheld the trademark red sole on his line of contrast shoes. Louboutin originally sued fashion house Yves Saint Laurent after it developed a line of monochromatic heels, one of which included a red sole. The ruling precluded trademark protection for the red sole on monochromatic designs. Other countries that have extended IP protection to Louboutin’s famed red soles include the European Union, Australia, China and Monaco, among others.
If you need a trademark registration to be filed or advice for trademark law, contact Kennedy Law, PC to set up a free consultation with a trademark lawyer today.