Christian Louboutin wins landmark victory over rival that sold copycat versions of its red-soled shoes

 February 12, 2019

Christian Louboutin



French designer Louboutin, 55, opened his first shop in 1991 with Princess Caroline of Monaco as his first customer.

Luxury footwear designer Christian Louboutin has won a landmark victory over claims a rival was ripping off its distinctive red-soled shoes.

Following a seven-year dispute, Dutch shoemaker Van Haren has been ordered to stop selling copycat versions of the upmarket high heels.

Louboutin has been locked in a legal battle with Van Haren since 2012 after discovering the retailer was selling high-heeled shoes with red soles.

The shade used by Louboutin is trademarked in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Last year Van Haren argued that the trademark is invalid because EU law does not allow shapes in trademarks – like shoe soles.

But Louboutin has now won the case, meaning that it will be the only company in the region awarded the trademark to make and sell the signature shoes, which go for up to £1,965 online.

Van Haren has been ordered by a Hague court to destroy all existing copies of its footwear, which was designed as part of a collection with actress Halle Berry, and provide details of outlets in which they were sold.

French designer Louboutin, 55, opened his first shop in 1991 with Princess Caroline of Monaco as his first customer.

He came up with the idea for the red-soled heels after reaching for an assistant’s ‘Chinese Red’ nail polish to add the finishing touches to a pair of high heels.

Most famous for his stiletto heels, Louboutin’s shoes have been worn by celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Tina Turner.

The heels also featured prominently on Sex in the City, worn by the television show’s main character Carried Bradshaw played by Sarah Jessica Parker.

A spokesman for Christian Louboutin said:

‘Christian Louboutin warmly welcomes this new judgement, which further strengthens the favourable decisions regarding the validity of the red sole trademark already issued in many countries.’

Louboutin has faced a series of legal battles over the distinctive soles in recent years.

A Paris appeals court in May ordered the French shoe firm Kesslord to pay Louboutin damages after it sold similar red-soled shoes.

In 2012 a US court also said that Louboutin could trademark the red soles, reversing an earlier ruling that would have allowed rival Yves Saint Laurent to paint its outsoles scarlet.

But one year before that Louboutin lost a separate case in France against the Spanish clothing chain Zara.

Originally published at Daily Mail

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