The highly contested battle over Christian Louboutin’s red-sole trademark is revving up anew.
Lawyers for Christian Louboutin filed their first brief to the Court of Appeals Monday, arguing for a reversal of an earlier ruling denying the fashion house a preliminary injunction and questioning the validity of its red-sole trademark.
The filing signals the beginning of an expedited appeal between Louboutin and defendant Yves Saint Laurent, which sold a red monochrome pump it created for its 2011 resort collection.
In April, Louboutin sued YSL in New York federal court, claiming that YSL’s red pump violated its red-sole trademark 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 the validity of Louboutin trademark altogether.
Examining the function of color in fashion and its role in creativity, the judge told the plaintiff that no one designer should have a “monopoly” on any color.
Louboutin’s counsel argued that the color is vital to the brand’s DNA, and that infringing on its trademark would cause irreparable harm. It also claimed that YSL’s shoe caused “consumer confusion,” which is a critical component to determining if a trademark has been violated.
Those arguments didn’t convince the judge, and Louboutin quickly entered an appeal.
Filed Monday, the plaintiff’s appeal brief restates its arguments and focuses on what it deems as Judge Marrero’s “errors of law in determining that Louboutin’s red outsole mark was likely invalid.”
Louboutin’s “trademark status has been conferred upon it by the consuming public…only public recognition can breathe life into another mark, whether it be a single color, several colors or another design element,” according to the brief.
The court now awaits filings from YSL’s lawyers, who could not be reached for comment by press time.
“All the briefs from both sides are on a schedule that the Court of Appeals agreed with, to wit: all done and in before the end of the year,” Louboutin attorney Harley Lewin of McCarter & English LLP told WWD.
“Considering what is at stake, it is probably fair to assume a ruling sometime in early spring, if not earlier,” he said.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)