Tag Archives: Trademark

Louboutin Wins Trademark Protection, But Loses Injunction

Fashionistas and stylistas are familiar with the trendy, expensive, red soles and high heeled shoes designed by Christian Louboutin.  Earlier this week, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New York granted trademark protection to Louboutin’s red-soled, high heeled shoes.

Initially, Louboutin’s brand name filed a preliminary injunction against Yves Saint Laurent America Inc. (“YSL”) from selling shoes that are all red because the YSL shoes include an outer red sole which Louboutin alleges as their trademark.  In August 2011, Judge Marrero in the Southern District of New York denied Louboutin’s injunction.  On appeal, the preliminary injunction was again denied and the case was sent back to district court.

However, the Second Circuit judges clarified that Louboutin’s shoes are entitled to a limited trademark protection.  Specifically, the trademark protection applies to the “red lacquered outer sole that contrasts with the color of the rest of the shoe and not to shoes that are monochromatically red.”  Read the full Bloomberg Businessweek article by Don Jeffrey and Cotten Timberlake here.  Jeffrey and Timberlake quote the decision,

The district court’s conclusion that a single color can never serve as a trademark in the fashion industry was based on an incorrect understanding of the doctrine of aesthetic functionality,” U.S. Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes wrote in today’s decision. “We conclude that the trademark, as thus modified, is entitled to trademark protection.

Chad Bray of the Wall Street Journal expounds upon the decision by stating,

Louboutin may have lost the fight against Yves Saint Laurent’s monochromatic shoe, but won a much broader battle over the use of its iconic color, according to trademark experts.

The full article is available here.

Since the justices believe that granting broad rights to the color red harms competition in the fashion industry, the injunction was denied and YSL will continue to produce red shoes with red outer soles.

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My new Jeremy Lin jersey arrived in the mail today!  I ordered it off of the New York Knicks website.  Link available here.  Apparently, he has his own clothing line section.

Jeremy Lin, the recent addition to the New York Knicks team, is one of the few Taiwanese point guards in the NBA and he has caused quite a stir with his impressive playing this season.  He has developed a cult following of fans across the country who call his playing “Bal-Lin” and “Linsanity!”

Last week, Lin filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the term Linsanity.  Branding at its best.  Read more about the trademark application and his odds of approval from this CNN Money article here.

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Lady Goo Goo banned in the United Kingdom

Lady Gaga filed an injunction against the parent company of Moshi Monsters.  Moshi Monsters is a website specifically geared towards children and described as a social networking site.  The company has a character called “Lady Goo Goo” that dresses similarly to Lady Gaga and sings songs similar to Lady Gaga.  For example, Lady Goo Goo sings a song called “Peppy-razzi” which is similar to Lady Gaga’s song “Paparazzi.”

The United Kingdom High Court granted the injunction.  The injunction banned Moshi Monsters from promoting, advertising, selling, distributing, or making available to the public the “Moshi Dance” or any work performed by Lady Goo Goo.  Read more about trademark protection for Lady Gaga in the United Kingdom in The Guardian’s article and in E! Online‘s article.

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