Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 12, 2012 04:13 PM
Executives at Christian Louboutin are likely seeing red after losing a court battle against Zara over a pair of $70 red-soled shoes.
Louboutin took Zara to court in 2008 and won when the shoes hit the market saying that it alone had the rights to produce and sell red-soled shoes, but an appeals court in France has ruled in favor of Zara and is telling Louboutin it also has to fork over £2,500, or about $3,600, according to New York magazine.
That isn’t a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, of course, but it’s an extra little face-rub in the mud for Louboutin, which has been on the warpath against counterfeiters of its signature red-soled shoes.
The ruling also doesn’t bode well for a bigger Louboutin appeal, against Yves Saint Laurent, in a case that the brand lost last summer in New York.
“It is a red in a specific context, there is Ferrari red [and] Hermès orange,” Louboutin told a French paper earlier this year, according to the Daily Mail. “Even in the food industry, Cadbury recently won a lawsuit against Nestlé for using purple packaging. All this proves that the colors play a part in a brand's identity. I'm not saying that red usually belongs to me — I repeat that this is about a precise red, used in a precise location.”
Unless Louboutin wins on appeal against YSL, expect to see a lot more red-soled shoes flooding the market from other brands now.