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Footwear maestro Christian Louboutin wins EU court battle over distinctive red soles

BRUSSELS: Christian Louboutin’s battle to protect the distinctive red soles on the shoes he designs got a boost on Tuesday when the European Union’s top court said their red color was separate from the shape of the soles, which is usually not protected under EU trademark law.

The judges at the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) did not follow the advice of the advocate general who said in February that the red color could not be considered as being separate from the shape of the sole.

“The mark does not relate to a specific shape of sole for high-heeled shoes since the description of that mark explicitly states that the contour of the shoe does not form part of the mark and is intended purely to show the positioning of the red color covered by the registration,” the ECJ said in a statement.

The French designer went to court in The Netherlands to prevent the Dutch high street chain Van Haren from selling its own versions of red-soled high-heeled shoes, a favorite on celebrity red carpets.



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