Tiffany & Co. Backs Christian Louboutin in Red Trademark Case
Women’s Wear Daily, October 25, 2011
In April, Louboutin sued Yves Saint Laurent in New York federal court, claiming that an all-red pump created by the rival house violated its red-sole mark that it obtained in 2008.
Louboutin asked the court to stop the sale of YSL’s shoe while the case was under review. But in August, presiding Judge Victor Marrero denied that request and instead questioned Louboutin’s mark, noting that no one designer should have a “monopoly” on any color. Louboutin then filed an appeal, which is currently under review.
“Tiffany has a reason to be concerned,” said Susan Scafidi, director of Fordham University’s Fashion Law Institute, who explained that if Louboutin’s mark is eventually canceled it would “weaken color trademarks across the world of fashion.”
Enter Tiffany, which registered its signature blue trademark for packaging in 1998. While there is a distinction between Louboutin’s mark and Tiffany’s mark — one is for “product packaging,” the other for “product configuration” — Scafidi said based on the “broad nature” of Judge Marrero’s ruling, there may be some cause for concern.