It is a trend that companies distinguish their products by using unusual distinctive elements: socks with a red top, shoes with bells instead of laces and of course, the ultimate unusual trademark: the red sole of Louboutin.
Now in South Africa we can add a variant: not the color of the sole but the motive of the sole is the subject of dispute. Futura Footwear, producer of Bata Toughees, has started a lawsuit against Novita Shoes because of the similarity of the pattern of the sole.
The question is whether a sole is a valid 3D mark. From our experience we do not directly see the origin of a shoe by the pattern of the sole of the shoe. Moreover, does the imprint of the pattern in snow or mud play a role in the trademark infringement case? This tends to be a very interesting case!
Source: BDLive, (C) Think Stock
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