Recent Federal Trademark Decision Has Famous Fashion Company Seeing Red
TOWSON, Md., Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent federal appeals court case demonstrates that trademarks can go well beyond symbols, designs and words. Even a single color can qualify for federal trademark protection, according to Josh Glikin, a partner in the leading business law firm Bowie & Jensen.
The case involved a lawsuit by a high-end women's shoe company, Louboutin, against the venerable French fashion company, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL). Louboutin's expensive high heeled shoes feature a shiny, laquer red heel and red soles that contrast vividly with the colors of the rest of the shoe. It obtained a federal trademark registration for the use of the color red on shoes.
YSL began producing shoes that were completely red, including the heel. Louboutin sued, seeking to stop YSL from producing shoes with red heels. YSL argued that it was not possible to obtain trademark rights on something as simple as the color of a shoe, but the court disagreed. It held that because the red heel and sole of the Louboutin shoes had become associated with the high-end designer (much like pink insulation is associated with Owens-Corning), Louboutin's trademark was valid and could be enforced against YSL. The court held, however, that YSL would not be prohibited from manufacturing shoes that were completely red, including a red heel, because it was the contrast between the red heel and the color of the Louboutin shoe that was Louboutin's true mark.The case goes to show that even a color can qualify for trademark protection if used in the correct way. Bowie & Jensen attorneys have decades of experience in advising businesses and business owners about how to build a solid trademark portfolio that distinguishes their goods and services from competitors. Louboutin obviously received solid advice about how to build and protect its recognizable red-heel trademark, and that advice paid off in spades years later.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
24/7 market commentary from Jim Cramer and 20+ veteran Wall Street gurus. Get access to the latest trading ideas on stocks, options, and ETFs as well as a real-time forum to see the pros exchanging their investment ideas.
- Jim Cramer + 20 Wall Street pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Real-time trading forum
- Actionable trade ideas
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV