A Manhattan federal judge denied famed shoe-maker Christian Louboutin an injunction that sought to stop fashion house Yves Saint Laurent from selling red-bottomed shoes, a staple of Louboutin's footwear line.
The French shoe-designer was suing over four particular shoes in the YSL 2011 collection: the Tribute, Tribtoo, Palais and Woodstock models. Which all sport bright-red outsoles.Louboutin, who trademarked the crimson underbelly in 2008, claimed that he pioneered the red-sole in 1992 when he first polished a shoe bottom with red nail polish. However, Judge Victor Marrero dismissed that argument, writing in his ruling that "Louboutin's claim to “the color red” is, without some limitation, overly broad and inconsistent with the scheme of trademark registration established by the Lanham Act."
The judge also went on to say, "Louboutin's claim raises the specter of fashion wars. If Louboutin owns Chinese Red for the outsole of high fashion women‟s shoes, another designer can just as well stake out a claim for exclusive use of another shade of red, or indeed even Louboutin‟s color, for the insole, while yet another could, like the world colonizers of eras past dividing conquered territories and markets, plant its flag on the entire heel for its Chinese Red."
Let the deluge of crimson-soled shoes begin.