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Feb 21

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Louboutin owns red on the bottom (unless its on top)

The ongoing battle known as Louboutin v. Yves Saint Laurent (“YSL”) has been decided, with the Second Circuit rejecting what had previously been thought of as a bright line rule that a single color cannot be a fashion trademark and recognizing the trademarked red sole associated with Louboutin.

The decision is nuanced however, as the Court ultimately found in favor of YSL.  The decision indicated that the uniformly red YSL shoe did not run afoul of the Louboutin trademark protection, which it concluded covered shoes where the sole was red in contrast to the rest of the shoe.

Louboutin will likely pursue other competitors who use the red color exclusively for the sole.  However this narrowing of its trademark opens the door for more competitors to safely use a red sole on otherwise red shoes.

Apparently, location is everything.

About the author

Renee Howdeshell

Renee Howdeshell is a founding member of Fulcrum Inquiry, an accounting, finance and economic consulting firm that performs damage analyses for commercial litigation, forensic accountings, royalty & distribution audits, financial investigations, and business valuations. Ms. Howdeshell holds a degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). She has testified as an expert witness in federal court, CA state court and arbitration regarding the results of her work. She can be reached at (213) 787-4112 and her resume is available at www.fulcrum.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2013/02/louboutin-owns-red-on-the-bottom-but-not-on-the-top/

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