World-famous designer Christian Louboutin has won a legal battle to protect his brand’s distinctive red soles. In 2012, Louboutin sued rival firm Van Haren for selling high-heeled shoes with scarlet soles, reports bbc.com. Under EU law, companies cannot trademark common shapes of products such as the soles of shoes and Van Haren argued that applying red to a shoe sole came under the law and, as a result, Louboutin did not have trademark protection. Van Haren was of the view that it shouldn’t be prohibited to sell the shoes because of the EU law stops trademark of common shaped goods such as shoes.
However, the European Court of Justice said shape trademarks do not apply to Louboutin’s red sole, reports bbc.com. Louboutin first designed his trademark shoe in 1993, using an assistant’s red nail polish. The judges stated “”A mark consisting of a color applied to the red sole of a shoe is not covered by the prohibition of the registration of shapes,”
The luxury brand said it “warmly welcomes” the judgment. “For 26 years, the red sole has enabled the public to attribute the origin of the shoe to its creator, Christian Louboutin. This case will now be referred back to The Hague Court which is expected to confirm the validity of the red sole trademark,” said a statement from the company. The luxury label founded in 1991 is a favorite of the celebrities made popular by Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City.