CNN reports that French Shoe Designer Christian Louboutin lost the first round of a trademark lawsuit seeking to protect his iconic red soled high heels. Louboutin’s lawyer blasted the Court’s decision and vowed he would fight on in an appeal. The story explains that many designers want to use red soled shoes and don’t think they should be excluded from doing so with one designer receiving a monopoly on that color. The story states:
“Everyone sees the flash of red and associates the red with Louboutin,” attorney Harley Lewin said Thursday about his client.
In fact, Louboutin’s red soles have graced many a red carpets, adorning the feet of celebrities Oprah Winfrey, Heidi Klum and Sarah Jessica Parker. …
In his decision Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero acknowleded that in choosing a red sole for his shoes, Louboutin had “departed from longstanding conventions and norms of his industry,” to create a product, “so eccentric and striking that it is easily perceived and remembered.”
However, Marrero went on to say that, “Louboutin’s claim to the ‘the color red’ is, without some limitation, overly broad and inconsistent with the scene of trademark registration.”
“This was a trademark that never should’ve been issued,” David Bernstein, attorney for the defendant, Yves Saint Laurent said. …
Judge Marrero’s decision drew parallels between painters and fashion designers, calling them both members of a creative industry where no one should be barred from using color to achieve their aesthetic. Doing so could, “interfere with creativity and stifle competition.”
Bernstein agrees. “No designer should be able to monopolize a color.” …
Lewin says his client “separated his shoes from everyone else’s by using a red sole.”
Lewin said he’s never had such an outpouring from his fellow attorneys, law professors and members of the fashion industry, telling him, “This [verdict] is an abomination. Tell your client to appeal.”
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