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22.03.2017

Christian Louboutin. The struggle for the "soles of red color".

FEDERAL SUPREME COURT OF SWITZERLAND REFUSED TO SATISFY THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE APPEALS COMPLAINT OF THE SHOE MANUFACTURER ON THE REGISTRATION OF THE RED COLORED SOLE OF THE WOMEN'S SHOE AS A COMPONENT OBJECT OF THE TRADE MARK SIGN.

Switzerland denied Christian Louboutin the right to defense. The court upheld the previous decision of the Federal Administrative Court, adopted in April 2016, in which the famous red sole of the brand was recognized only as a decorative element, in turn is such sole is not protected by the legislation on trademarks of the country. Regardless of the fact that in many EU countries, Russia and the United States of America the red sole is protected by the letter of the law, this did not impress the Swiss.

Christian Louboutin vs Yves Saint Laurent.

The decision to provide legal protection for the "soles of red color" came after a fight with another famous brand. In 2011, Christian Louboutin filed a lawsuit against Yves Saint Laurent in connection with the release of a competing firm collection of monochrome women‘s shoes in various colors, including red. Louboutin claimed that YSL was responsible for violating the rights to use the trademark, forging and misleading the consumer about the footwear manufacturer. In turn, YSL filed a counterclaim to cancel the certificate of the Louboutin trademark, claiming that it does not have a distinctive ability, performs the decorative functions, and thus its protection as a trademark object is not appropriate.

After a long trial, it turned out that the red sole, which contrasts with the top of the shoe, is strongly associated with the Christian Louboutin brand and has a wide recognition. As a result, Louboutin won the lawsuit, but only with regard to the requirements for the exclusive right to issue women‘s shoes with red soles, it does not applies to the monochrome shoes of red color. In Ukraine, the brand was registered in 2013 and to this day it successfully operates in the country.

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