For more than a year now, Christian Louboutin has been battling Yves Saint Laurent in court over whether YSL infringed on Louboutin’s 2008 trademark of red-soled shoes. The drama all started when YSL produced a pair of all-red pumps for their Resort 2011 collection.
Louboutin sprang into action and sought an injunction to prevent YSL from selling said red shoes, but in August 2011 an appellate judge, who also raised questions about the legality of the Louboutin brand’s trademark on red-soled shoes, denied the injunction. Of course, Louboutin wasn’t a fan of that decision and promptly filed an appeal.
In what seems like a small victory for the Louboutin brand today, a New York federal court of appeals has stated that Louboutin is, in fact, entitled to his red-sole trademark – except when the entire shoe is red. In the grand scheme of things, this is a victory for Louboutin because he has reestablished his right to protect his trademark against anyone and everyone. But, in terms of the YSL case, my take on things is that no real progress has been made. Sure, he can continue to pursue his case, but since the YSL pump in question is entirely red, making it theoretically immune to Louboutin trademark infringement, doesn’t it look like Louboutin will lose in the end? This should be a case-closed moment on Christian Louboutin versus YSL.
So, why is this battle still raging on and clogging up the legal system? It looks like Louboutin is hoping his luck will hold and the next judge will rule that he has a monopoly on all-red shoes as well. The case is already set to go back to a lower court for review with today’s ruling in mind.