On the Cutting Edge

Louboutin’s Victory in Europe Day

Christian Louboutin is walking tall today after the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) effectively confirmed the validity of his red sole trademark for women's high-heeled shoes. In response to a referral from a court in the Netherlands, the CJEU determined that the mark was not merely "a shape which gives substantial value to the goods" -- and thus not registrable under EU law -- but instead a specific color placed in a particular position on the products.  The case will now go back to the court in the Netherlands, presumably for a ruling in favor of Louboutin and against Van Haren Schoenen, which allegedly sold infringing footwear back in 2012. This decision was a victory not only for Louboutin but also for common sense, since the court based its decision on the simple understanding that the word "shape" refers to the outline or contour of a product, not its color.  Louboutin does not claim the various shapes of the soles of shoes as trademarks; instead, the trademark consists of the color Pantone 18-1663TP applied to the soles of shoes. While the CJEU decision in favor of Louboutin might seem like a shoe-in, the court actually went against an advocate general's opinion from back in February, which advised that color should not be considered apart from shape -- a determination that led many to assume incorrectly that Louboutin's Benelux (that is, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg) trademark had been or was about to be canceled. Christian Louboutin's signature soles are in fact stronger than ever, and the owners of color and position marks all over Europe have an extra spring in their step.

Louboutin’s Victory in Europe Day

Christian Louboutin is walking tall today after the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) effectively confirmed the validity of his red sole trademark for women's high-heeled shoes. In response to a referral from a court in the Netherlands, the CJEU determined that the mark was not merely "a shape which gives substantial value to the goods" -- and thus not registrable under EU law -- but instead a specific color placed in a particular position on the products.  The case will now go back to the court in the Netherlands, presumably for a ruling in favor of Louboutin and against Van Haren Schoenen, which allegedly sold infringing footwear back in 2012. This decision was a victory not only for Louboutin but also for common sense, since the court based its decision on the simple understanding that the word "shape" refers to the outline or contour of a product, not its color.  Louboutin does not claim the various shapes of the soles of shoes as trademarks; instead, the trademark consists of the color Pantone 18-1663TP applied to the soles of shoes. While the CJEU decision in favor of Louboutin might seem like a shoe-in, the court actually went against an advocate general's opinion from back in February, which advised that color should not be considered apart from shape -- a determination that led many to assume incorrectly that Louboutin's Benelux (that is, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg) trademark had been or was about to be canceled. Christian Louboutin's signature soles are in fact stronger than ever, and the owners of color and position marks all over Europe have an extra spring in their step.

NYC Acts on #MeToo Reform Recommendations

On Wednesday, April 25, Professor Susan Scafidi and Associate Director Jeff Trexler joined New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray and the New York City Commission on Human Rights at a special event in Gracie Mansion to mark the release of the Commission's new report, "Combating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Trends and Recommendations Based on 2017 Public Hearing Testimony." The report makes multiple references to the Fashion Law Institute's recommendations for legal reform, a number of which were also adopted by the New York City Council in its landmark Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act. The report and selections from the Act can be found below, along with our written testimony and the transcript of the spoken testimony at the 2017 NYCCHR hearing. Pictured above: First Lady McCray shows her jeans to highlight Denim Day; the Fashion Law Institute's logo pin with the official NYCCHR pin in the campaign against sexual harassment; and NYCCHR Deputy Commissioner Dana Sussman and her newborn daughter, empowering the new generation! SexHarass_Report
Pages from CCHR_SexualHarassment_Hearing_Transcript_12.6.17
testimony-NYCC
The New York City Council - stop sexual harassment act

More Testimony on Harassment

Professor Scafidi & Jeff Trexler testified on fashion and sexual harassment reform before the New York City Council - and they welcome your comments! Their written testimony is below - scroll within the box for additional pages or click to download. testimony-NYCC

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