>> While it remains to be seen whether Christian Louboutin will retain its red-sole trademark, a Manhattan federal judge has denied Louboutin's request that Yves Saint Laurent be barred from selling red-soled shoes while the shoemaker's lawsuit against YSL is pending.
The judge concluded that Louboutin wouldn't likely be able to prove that its red soles deserve trademark protection — protection that was originally granted in 2008. "Because in the fashion industry color serves ornamental and aesthetic functions vital to robust competition, the court finds that Louboutin is unlikely to be able to prove that its red outsole brand is entitled to trademark protection, even if it has gained enough public recognition in the market to have acquired secondary meaning," Judge Victor Marrero wrote in his opinion.
“We’re obviously very disappointed,” Harley Lewin, a lawyer for Louboutin, said of the denial. “We think the judge missed it.” Lewin continued: "The court essentially indicated that it does not believe that a single color can be a trademark in the fashion industry. We're disheartened."
‘This just reaffirms that no designer should be allowed to monopolize a primary color for fashion,” David Bernstein, a lawyer for Yves Saint Laurent, said about the ruling today. “This is a trademark registration that never should have been issued and can’t be enforced.”
Marrero said in his ruling that representatives for both YSL and Louboutin must appear in federal court Aug. 17, when Louboutin will have to provide arguments against a motion to cancel the trademark.