Last summer Christian Louboutin was all like, "I AM THE ONLY ONE ALLOWED TO HAVE RED SOLES ON MY SHOES." And then YSL was like, "I'LL SEE YOU IN COURT!" A judge roundly rejected Louboutin's lawsuit and request to stop sales of YSL's red-soled shoes. The judge explained, "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."
Louboutin then argued against the cancellation of the trademark, which he was awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2008. After that, life went on, seasons changed, and more important things in the world were making headlines. For those left curious about the case, there is some new news to report this morning. Yesterday a Manhattan appeals court unanimously upheld Louboutin's trademark on the red soles, reversing the previous ruling.
However, they noted that the trademark is limited “to uses in which the red outsole contrasts with the remainder of the shoe.” This means YSL can keep selling their all-red shoes with red soles, because they were totally "making monochrome shoes long before Louboutin began painting the outsoles of his footwear."
Last night Louboutin sent out a press release, declaring: "We welcome the decision of the Court of Appeals and will study today's ruling with great length. We are extremely pleased and gratified that the Appellate Court found our key arguments to be correct: first that color can and does serve as a trademark in the fashion industry, and that Christian Louboutin's world famous Red Sole trademark is valid, protectable and enforceable. As we have said throughout the proceedings and reiterate now, especially in the light of this decision, we will continue to take all steps available to protect our trademark."
If you are like us, and think this stuff has nothing to do with you, let us remind you of what Miranda Priestly once said: