Can Christian Louboutin ever get a break? I know they say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, but it’s starting to get a little ridiculous. Louboutin has just settled their infamous YSL law suit and is now about to embark on another legal battle.
Paris-based Christian Louboutin S.A.S. has filed a suit in the Southern District of New York against Alba Footwear, Easy Pickins, Inc. and Alan H. Warshak for the sale of their red-soled shoes.
The suit, which was filed last week by Harley Lewin, Louboutin’s counsel from the YSL case, is a trademark infringement case on behalf of the footwear designer, alleging that the defendants manufactured and sold counterfeit versions of Louboutin’s products bearing its red sole trademark.
It must be kept in mind that this is a trademark infringement case, and not a copyright infringement case. Copyright law in the United States does not protect the overall design/appearance of Christian Louboutin’s designs, so the designer’s lawsuit must be exclusively limited to the replication of the red sole. If the replicated designs were made without the red sole, the creations would be perfectly legal.
Below is an example of Louboutin’s Lady Spiked Leopard Print Pumps (left) and Alba’s version (right):
This lawsuit is one of the first lawsuits following the September 2012 ruling that Louboutin’s red sole is a valid trademark. Louboutin is asking the companies for $2 million in damages, injunctive relief and additional damages.
When are show designers going to get it -- you cannot put a cheaply made, fake, red sole on a pair of heels. Just don’t even try.
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