NEW YORK — The color red just got some support from the color blue.
Tiffany & Co. filed a brief Tuesday in support of Christian Louboutin’s appeal to reverse an earlier decision that denied the brand a preliminary injunction and questioned the validity of its red-sole trademark.
Tiffany’s filing, called an amicus curiae, focused on the notion that a color can be trademarked. The International Trademark Association also filed a motion late Monday for an extension of time to file a brief in support of Louboutin.
“We are enormously pleased that Tiffany has weighed in,” said Louboutin attorney Harley Lewin, of McCarter & English LLP. “Tiffany has not only agreed with our arguments, but it also put forth arguments that strengthened the case and made the point that the [earlier] decision should be reversed.”
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.
“Tiffany is not taking sides in this dispute,” said Tiffany attorney Jason Jones, of Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu PC, the firm coincidentally responsible for registering Louboutin’s red-sole mark. “We are only trying to assure that this area of the law is not disturbed by an overbroad decision in the lower court.”
But Monday’s filings didn’t faze YSL attorney David Bernstein, of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.
“As we’ve noted before, we think Judge Marrero was exactly right in denying Louboutin’s request for a preliminary injunction, and fully expect the Court of Appeals to agree,” he said. “We look forward to responding to Louboutin’s and Tiffany’s briefs in due course.”
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)