Louboutin wins court case to protect red soles

  • French footwear designer Christian Louboutin has won a court case in the U.S. to protect the distinctive red soles of his designer pumps.

    On Wednesday, a panel at the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York reversed a lower court's ruling that a color could not be trademarked in the fashion industry.

    In April 2011, Paris-based Louboutin sued rival Yves Saint Laurent in a Manhattan federal court over what he argued was his signature use of lacquered red on the soles of shoes.

    Later that year, Manhattan federal judge Victor Marrero denied Louboutin's request for a preliminary injunction preventing YSL from selling shoes with red soles.

    Wednesday's ruling saw the appeals court panel decide that Louboutin's use of the red sole was "a distinctive symbol that qualifies for trademark protection."

    Louboutin's signature trait has however been restricted to where the sole is in contrast to the rest of the shoe, allowing YSL to produce a red shoe with a red sole.

    Louboutin founded his first boutique in 1991 in Paris. A pair of his red-soled shoes can cost more than $1,000