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16-04-2011
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I think the keyword here is: patent....CL not only has the trademark it's also a patent....Call it trivial but he does have the right under the law to sue.

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17-04-2011
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This is ridiculous, maybe I´m a little bit old hence the only one remembering many designers used red soles BEFORE Louboutin, like Versace, Christian Lacroix or Cesare Pacciotti. Just browse some 80´s stuff.

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17-04-2011
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This is indeed a controversy.

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17-04-2011
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I don't think what's really being questioned is whether or not CL has the right to sue, but why he was even given that right in the first place. I do find it quite ridiculous that you can patent a sole colour.

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20-04-2011
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i don't understand why some have confusion over the controversy. if i saw a woman in a shoe with a red sole, i'd assume it's a louboutin as would most reasonable observers. that's an open-and-shut case. other shoe companies have sued over far, far less. anyone remember the balenciaga vs. steve madden snafu? or the alexander mcqueen vs. steve madden incident?

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24-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INTER View Post
This is ridiculous, maybe I´m a little bit old hence the only one remembering many designers used red soles BEFORE Louboutin, like Versace, Christian Lacroix or Cesare Pacciotti. Just browse some 80´s stuff.
I know...they had red, blue, green, silver and so many more colours

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24-05-2011
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From dailymail.co.uk

Quote:
Yves Saint Laurent has hit back at Christian Louboutin over claims that it copied the luxury shoemaker's red soles

The French fashion house, which is being sued for $1million, says that it has been putting red soles on shoes since the Seventies - long before Mr Louboutin.

According to court papers, YSL claims that the design feature has existed for centuries.

They read: 'Red outsoles are a commonly used ornamental design feature in footwear, dating as far back as the red shoes worn by King Louis XIV in the 1600s and the ruby red shoes that carried Dorothy home in The Wizard of Oz.'

YSL also alleged that Mr Louboutin was fraudulent in his trademark application claim that he had 'exclusive' use of the red sole.

It continued: 'As an industry leader who has devoted his entire professional life to women's footwear, Mr Louboutin either knew or should have known about some or all of the dozens of footwear models that rendered his sworn statement false.'

Mr Louboutin launched legal action last month in an attempt to stop YSL America from selling ‘virtually identical’ red-soled footwear in the same shops that stock his shoes, which are favourites with countless celebrities.

He is seeking more than $1million damages in a Manhattan federal court for alleged trademark infringement and counterfeiting of his shoes’ most distinctive feature.

According to the lawsuit: ‘Mr Louboutin is the first designer to develop the idea of having red soles on women’s shoes.

'The location of the bright colour on the outsole of a woman’s pump is said to provide an alluring “flash of red” when a woman walks down the street, or on the red carpet of a special event.’

The lawsuit claimed that Yves Saint Laurent’s sale of lookalike shoes in Manhattan stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman was ‘likely to cause and is causing confusion, mistake and deception among the relevant purchasing public’.

The Parisian shoemaker, who cited four YSL designs, has asked the court to order his rival to stop manufacturing similar designs.

He has also taken legal action against the French operation of Brazilian label Carmen Steffens for alleged trademark infringement.

In a statement responding to the allegations, Carmen Steffens France explained that it had been putting red soles on its shoes since 1996, long before Mr Louboutin's red soles were registered as a trademark in the U.S. in 2008

Gabriel Spaniol, the brand's international development director, said: 'We are ready to provide unassailable evidence that we have been using colored soles, especially red, before Mr. Christian Louboutin popularized his.'

The release said that the label 'finds it surprising that another brand is trying to reserve the rights to any colour.'

It added: 'The tones are not the same, and, as catalogues dating from 1996 can prove, Carmen Steffens shoes contain soles of all colours, including red.'

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24-05-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TianSoFine View Post
I don't think what's really being questioned is whether or not CL has the right to sue, but why he was even given that right in the first place. I do find it quite ridiculous that you can patent a sole colour.
THIS SO MUCH.

It's ridiculous that CL is suing over the issue, but mostly, it's ridiculous because it's apparently his right. They are not even making any distinction between particular hues of red - just a red sole.

The YSL shoes in question are red all over, including the sole. But the models in other colours do not have a red sole, so it's not brand confusion or imitation at all.

What's next? Someone's gonna patent the brown and black soles?


Last edited by advo; 24-05-2011 at 04:56 AM.
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26-05-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TianSoFine View Post
I don't think what's really being questioned is whether or not CL has the right to sue, but why he was even given that right in the first place. I do find it quite ridiculous that you can patent a sole colour.
SO TRUE.

Valentino is famous for its red dress, does he have a patent? No. That's why he is icon, while CL is just a shoemaker.

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04-08-2011
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UPDATE -

Judge sides with Christian Louboutin despite YSL's claims that 'no designer should be able to monopolise any colour'

The company was seeking more than $1million damages claiming another luxury designer was 'copying' its shoes’ most distinctive characteristic - the red sole.

But last month in the case of Christian Louboutin vs Yves Saint Laurent, the plot thickened when it emerged that YSL had decided to counter-sue Louboutin stating that the French designer had no right to monopolize a colour. Now it seems that the judge has sided with Louboutin refusing to accept arguments submitted by YSL as the two fashion labels battled it out in a New York courtroom last week.

Both parties submitted documents stating their position with YSL additional articles - including a chart depicting its red-soled shoe designs since 2004 - which the presiding judge Victor Marrero, deemed invalid.

Lawyer, David Bernstein also raised smiles as he argued that his client, YSL had been using red as a signature colour since it began in 1962 and that even King Louis XIV of France and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz had worn red-soled shoes.

But Louboutin's lawyer argued these were unreliable findings and judge Marrero agreed. Louboutin was originally seeking an injunction to stop YSL producing red-soled shoes for its 2011 cruise collection. But the French label fought back stating that Louboutin - which claim to have been awarded an official trademark for the red sole in 2008, - have no right to monopolize a colour for their product.

The lawyer for YSL, David Bernstein had said: ‘Louboutin’s trademark should have never been granted. ‘We just don’t think that any fashion designer should be able to monopolize any colour.’

YSL alleges that Mr Louboutin was fraudulent in his trademark application claim that he had 'exclusive' use of the red sole. The luxury shoe makers responded, saying it is only one specific shade of red that they are claiming the rights to.

A spokesman said: ‘Unless you are living in a cave, the consumer most definitely recognizes a red-soled shoe as a Louboutin.

‘We are not claiming to own every red under the sun. There’s a particular red that Christian uses on his shoes, a bright, lacquered red 'We aren’t saying burgundy or orange-red, we aren’t saying pink. We don’t own any other red but that red.’

According to court papers filed last month, Christian Louboutin had also obtained evidence from a private investigator stating that Christian Dior was planning to launch a collection of red shoes with red soles.

A Dior spokesperson denied these claims telling WWD: 'Christian Dior does not manufacture and sell any shoes with a red sole.'

It is not known when a verdict on the case will be reached as judge Victor Marrero has asked for more time.

dailymail.co.uk

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04-08-2011
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What a joke! I can't believe Loub has actually got a patent for A COLOUR.

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04-08-2011
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It's only on the soles though.

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05-08-2011
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I actually feel for YSL, that someone might confuse their shoes with Louboutin's. Gross. YSL will never recover from that disgrace.

I find the judge a bit retarded as well, Louboutin says their's is 'a bright, lacquered red', nothing else. To me it didn't look like Ysl's soles were that color (much lighter), and they didn't look lacquered (more like matte), so WTF? Absurd.

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05-08-2011
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^I agree. The colour on the YSL shoes are not the same as LB's shade of red so it's pretty much BS on that part.

Nevertheless, this was the expected result. LB had the patent so this is the law. Ridiculous, but it is what it is.

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05-08-2011
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Well I mean the patent is understandable for say a shoe company making knock offs of Loubs trying to pass them off as Loubs with the red sole but obviously that's not what YSL were aiming for...

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