A mark consisting of a colour applied to the red sole of a shoe “is not covered by the prohibition of the registration of shapes,” the EU judges said in their decision.
The case will go back to a court in The Hague, which had sought the EU tribunal’s advice in a dispute between the French fashion designer and a Dutch retail shoe shop that started selling red-soled women’s shoes, arguing that Louboutin should never have gotten a trademark protection in the first place.
The ruling strengthens Maison Christian Louboutin’s trademark protection, the French company said in a statement.
“For 26 years, the red sole has enabled the public to attribute the origin of the shoe to its creator, Christian Louboutin.”
The Dutch court will be bound by Tuesday’s EU court decision. Louboutin said it expects the tribunal “to confirm the validity of the red sole trademark.”