Mid-day Extra: Christian Louboutin battles YSL for its soles
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Can you trademark the color of a shoe? That’s the question behind a conflict between the luxury brands Christian Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent this week.
Louboutin made famous shoes with red soles. But YSL earlier this year began selling shoes with the same look. And now lawyers for Louboutin filed an appeal against a ruling earlier this year that YSL’s shoes were on the up-and-up.
In today’s Mid-day Extra, we speak with Staci Riordan of Fox Rothschild in Los Angeles about the legal details of the case.
Louboutin is arguing that it has a right over the red sole because of secondary meaning — a term used by lawyers to describe the phenomenon of consumers seeing that red bottom at a Hollywood premiere, or on a city sidewalk, and instantly knowing which designer makes it.
Riordan says that Louboutin is unlikely to win the appeal, and that this case in particular is different from other fashion trademark situations.
If the decision is reversed, however, Riordan said it could have far reaching consequences in the fashion industry — just imagine Reebok claiming the right to all black soled sneakers.
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