Trademark Owner Files Lawsuit Over Red-Soled Shoes

April 12, 2011 – Blog Post

Seeking an injunction and damages, Christian Louboutin S.A. recently sued Yves Saint Laurent America, Inc. (YSL) in the Southern District of New York for trademark infringement and counterfeiting of Louboutin’s red-soled shoes.

In 2008, Christian Louboutin, a haute couture shoe designer, obtained federal registration for a trademark consisting of a lacquered red sole for women’s footwear,receiving considerable media attention, with consumers allegedly associating his “Red Sole Mark” with Louboutin’s footwear. Many of Louboutin’s shoes are in different colors than red and feature a red sole, as compared to the YSL shoe that sparked the lawsuit. The YSL shoe is totally red. Might this serve as the basis of a defense by YSL?

Louboutin filed suit claiming that YSL is seeking to take unfair advantage of the goodwill and brand recognition of Christian Louboutin’s Red Sole Mark. Louboutin is requesting that Yves Saint Laurent be enjoined and restrained from using the Red Sole Mark or any other footwear outsole that resembles the Red Sole Mark. Louboutin has also asked the Court for damages of one million dollars.