One of our favorite early T+B posts was a look at trademark registrations for colors, including French shoe designer Christian Louboutin’s infamous red-soled shoes. Louboutin began incorporating the red-lacquered sole on his shoes in 1992 and registered it with the USPTO in 2008. And now apparently, the fashion house of Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) has copied the bright red sole and Louboutin is suing for trademark infringement.
Louboutin claims that in January, YSL began selling a red-soled shoe at several New York City retailers, including Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, among others. The suit claims: “The defendants use of red footwear outsoles that are virtually identical to plaintiff’s Red Sole Mark is likely to cause and is causing confusion, mistake and deception among the relevant purchasing public as to the origin of the infringing footwear.”
Here’s the Louboutin red sole trademark record from Corsearch® Advantage™ that we published in the earlier post:
Do you struggle with the pronunciation of the famous shoe brand? If you do, you can get a quick lesson here. Louboutin himself was reportedly flattered when Jennifer Lopez released the single, “Louboutins, ” in 2009. In the song, Lopez mentions the designer’s name (with the correct pronunciation) more than 30 times. And, of course, the red soles get a mention in the song too: “Watch these red bottoms … and the back of my jeans …”
Fact or fiction?: Louboutin originated the idea of the red soles by painting red nail polish on the bottom of a pair of women’s shoes. Find the answer here.