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Style Louboutin wins key legal battle over red soles

11:11  14 june  2018
11:11  14 june  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

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Louboutin wins key legal battle over red soles The luxury footwear company is the victor in a legal dispute centred on whether the soles consist exclusively

Shoe maker Christian Louboutin has won a key European legal battle to protect his products' signature red soles as a trademark. Louboutin had brought the case in the Netherlands after Van Haren began selling red - soled shoes in 2012, and a district court in The Hague referred it to the ECJ.

A woman wearing a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes sits in the front row at the Project Runway Fall 2010 collection during New York Fashion Week February 12, 2010.© Reuters A woman wearing a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes sits in the front row at the Project Runway Fall 2010 collection during New York Fashion Week February 12, 2010. Shoe maker Christian Louboutin has won a key European legal battle to protect his products' signature red soles as a trademark.

The European Court of Justice ruled in favour of the French luxury brand after it sought to prevent Dutch high street chain Van Haren from selling its own versions of high-heeled shoes with red soles.

Its ruling centred on whether the red soles should be considered to consist exclusively of a "shape" - in which case it would not have been entitled to trademark protection.

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Europe's highest court backs Christian Louboutin in its battle to protect its distinctive red soles . In 2012, Louboutin sued rival firm Van Haren for selling high heeled shoes with scarlet soles . Under EU law companies cannot trademark common shapes of products such as the soles of shoes.

Christian Louboutin has won a key legal case in a long-running battle to protect its signature red soles from copycats. On Tuesday, the European court of justice (ECJ) ruled vanHaren, a Dutch company, had infringed the brand’s trademark by selling a range of red - soled shoes.

Louboutin had brought the case in the Netherlands after Van Haren began selling red-soled shoes in 2012, and a district court in The Hague referred it to the ECJ.

The ECJ's advocate general, who provides legal advice to the court, had found against Louboutin, but the judges rejected this advice.

A "sign" which consists exclusively of a shape cannot be trademarked in EU law.

But the judges found that while a shape does create an outline for the colour on Louboutin's red soles, that shape was not what the trademark was seeking to protect.

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Louboutin wins legal battle over red soles Europe's highest court has backed Christian Louboutin in its battle to protect its distinctive red soles .In 2012

DONT' FORGET TO SUBSCIBE TO OUR CHANNEL Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Christian Louboutin has been battling to protect its red sole designs.

They ruled that the mark at issue "does not relate to a specific shape of sole for high-heeled shoes".

The "shape" was simply the outline for showing where the colour was located on the bottom of the shoe, the court found.

Having had this point of law settled, the case now returns to the Dutch court for a final judgment.

Founded in 1991, Louboutin, whose footwear typically retails for more than £500, is a high-end fashion favourite made popular by celebrities including the stars of Sex and the City.

The company welcomed the judgment, saying in a statement: "The protection of Christian Louboutin's red sole trademark is strengthened by the European Court of Justice."

In 2012, it won a similar case in the US.

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