Shoe designer Christian Louboutin’s continuing legal fight to protect his signature red soles from imitators is fascinating. Can you really own a colour? Can the designer really uphold such a simple- but oh-so-effective-USP? Christian Louboutin certainly hopes so. A spokesperson for his eponymous label confirms that the designer plans to appeal a New York judge’s decision last week to deny Louboutin’s bid to block Yves Saint Laurent from producing red-soled shoes in its 2011 Cruise collection.
The story so far: in 2008 Louboutin trademarked a lacquered red sole on footwear ( Pantone No. 18-1663 TP, or “Chinese Red,” FYI). In April this year Louboutin filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in New York saying that YSL had breached its copyright by using the red sole, in July the judge heard preliminary evidence – with YSL’s representative arguing that no brand should have a “monopoly on a colour”- and last week Judge Victor Marrero denied Louboutin’s atttempt to block YSL’s shoes.