The distinctive red soles of Christian Louboutin shoes are entitled to trademark protection, a federal appeals court in Manhattan has ruled.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday ruled in favor of the French maker of luxury shoes worn by stars such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Scarlett Johansson and Halle Berry.
The court says Christian Louboutin is entitled to protect its brand against red-soled shoes made by competitor Yves Saint Laurent S.A.S., which is also based in Paris.
An exception to the rule is when the shoe itself is red as well. In that instance, a rival may match the color of the sole to the color of the shoe.
This would allow YSL to continue to produce “monochrome” versions of its Tribtoo platform pumps.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2008 had granted the trademark protection to Christian Louboutin.
Christian Louboutin has applied glossy vivid red to the outsoles of women’s shoes since 1992.
The shoes sell for upwards of $700 a pair.