Less than twenty-four hours ago, a judge decided that Louboutin’s “sole recognition” was no longer his. Louboutin had filled a lawsuit against Yves Saint Laurent for using red soles on a number of YSL shoes from his recent resort collection.
A fashion outsider’s opinion on the matter is it’s a color; this is fashion, color is important and not one designer is only allowed to use that specific color, create a monopoly if you will. Well, a fashion insider can understand that point of view. However, when describing Louboutin, the only distinguishing marks the designer carries are his red sole. One could say, for instance they are expensive shoes, costing over $1,000. As it may be, almost every designer shoe is that costly (including YSL shoes), the only thing distinguishing Louboutin’s shoes from the pack is the dramatic peek of a rich red bursting out at you from beneath that magnificent heel. Walking down the streets of any major city, it is unmistakable when you witness this fashion phenomenon. You instantly become aware that, that woman must love shoes and is fortunate enough to be strutting around in a pair of Louboutin’s. It’s like she has her own, personal red carpet wherever she goes. The envy and the infamy are what made Louboutin and his company what he is today. By giving other designers the go ahead to essentially copy his signature look brings upon a fear that Louboutin may not stick around for much longer.
The judge’s decision came to this, “Because in the fashion industry color serves ornamental and aesthetic functions vital to robust competition, the court finds that Louboutin is unlikely to be able to prove that its red outsole brand is entitled to trademark protection.”
My question now is, where the people who gave him that trademark in 2008 are, I want to know the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s opinion on the matter, and their reasoning’s for granting the trademark three years ago.
Louboutin’s lawyers’ task now is to prove that this will create confusion amongst shoppers and the general customer, otherwise Louboutin may lose his exclusivity.