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.”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion