On Tuesday, June 12, 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union(CJEU) ruled on the same day that French luxury shoe brand Christian Louboutin enjoyed the franchise of Christian Louboutin red bottom heels replica within the EU. The brand was unique for its red-soled high-heeled shoes –especially Christian Louboutin red bottom heels replica.
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The European Court of Justice said in a statement that it can be registered in the European Union “a brand with a certain color on the sole”. Christian Louboutin can continue to exclusively use this shoe design with bright red (Panone 18 -1663TP) soles.
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In 2012, in the Dutch court, Christian Louboutin accused the high street fashion retailer Van Haren of allegedly infringing on his Christian Louboutin red bottom heels replica’s design patent — red sole, and pointed out that Van Haren’s launch of the Fifth Avenue by Halle Berry series of high heels,had violated his Christian Louboutin red bottom heels replica’s trademark patent.
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The Dutch brand believed that Christian Louboutin red bottom heels replica was an invalid trademark, questioning Christian Louboutin’s legality of defining a registered trademark based on color and shape, and that the definition violated the related trademark laws and regulations of EU.
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The European Court of Justice finally concluded that “the brand (referred to as Christian Louboutin) is not based on a unique high-heeled sole form” and therefore does not violate the EU regulations on the inability to register trademarks by shape. It is also stated that “the outline of the shoe is mentioned in the trademark description, but it is only used to clarify the location of the red color it is registered with, not part of the trademark”.
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The International Court of Justice in the Hague had accused the European Court of Justice of favoring Christian Louboutin in this case.
The Dutch court had not yet ruled on the allegations of the Van Haren’s plagiarizing Christian Louboutin red bottom heels replica’s red sole.
The representative of Christian Louboutin told the reporters out of the court, “We are very satisfied with this victory.”
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In recent years, Christian Louboutin has brought several other brands who used the shoe design of red sole for several times both in France and abroad. The most recent one is the prosecution of leather goods company Kesslord. The Paris Court of Appeal announced in May 2018 that it would uphold the High Court’s ruling and that Christian Louboutin won the case. Kesslord paid Christian Louboutin’s designer and his company $7,500 in compensation.
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Vanessa Bouchara, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property law, summed it to the reporters: “The European Court of Justice’s decision on Tuesday (June 12) is consistent with the Paris Court of Appeal, which considers the use of a particular color in a particular place in a product, as the mark that distinguishes it from other products, is protected by law.”
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In 2012, in Christian Louboutin’s lawsuit against Yves Saint Laurent, the US court ruled that Christian Louboutin could use Christian Louboutin red bottom heels replica as a registered trademark in all shoes with the same color.
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In 2011, Christian Louboutin lost in a lawsuit in the French court with the Spanish brand Zara. The Paris High Court firstly sentenced Christian Louboutin to victory, the Paris Court of Appeal and the French Supreme Court held that “the red color claimed by Christian Louboutin does not have a clear reference standard to define and identify.” After this lawsuit, Christian Louboutin strengthened the standard of re-registration to protect its brand with a clearer definition.
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