If you haven’t had your own Red Sole-case, your not a serious player in IP-land. Now, in Holland, we do! We have our own Louboutin-case. Hooray!
Not a high-end luxury brand is allegedly infringing the signature Louboutin red sole, but a low-end brand.
Van Haren is a Dutch budget shoe store. Although the price is low (only €39,95!), the “5th Avenue collection by Halle Barry” allures to the great stars. We wonder whether Halle know about this endorsement, but ok, we will let this one slip this time.
The main point is of course the red sole under the pump. Clearly a reference to the famous Christian Louboutin shoes. Naturally, Louboutin sued. And won.
According to the Dutch court the red sole possesses aspects of both a color mark as well as a 3d-mark.
According to the court, Louboutin has made sufficiently plausible that the relevant public in the Benelux recognizes the “sole brand” as “a Louboutin”. Therefore it ruled that the red sole has acquired distinctiveness. Van Haren is ordered to cease and desist selling shoes black and/or dark blue pumps with red soles.
A cool victory for Louboutin and a clear red sole flag for other competitors that are trying to copy the signature.