0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

CJEU shapes up nicely for Louboutin red sole trade mark

13 June 2018

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has today given its judgment in relation to a key issue in one of the most hotly debated trade mark disputes in recent times. Should Louboutin’s iconic red soled high heels be afforded trade mark protection?

Luxury shoe designer Christian Louboutin sued Van Haren for infringement of its registered trade mark for the colour red (Pantone 18-1663TP) applied to the sole of a high heeled shoe. One of the challenges to the validity of the trade mark had to do with whether the mark consisted exclusively of a shape which gives substantial value to the goods. We reported on the opinion of the Advocate General back in February, and that review provided the context to this question. The Advocate General may have given Louboutin some cause for concern.

The CJEU has now given its judgment on this issue, in favour of Louboutin. It found that the particular colour red as applied to the soles of high heeled shoes does not consist 'exclusively' of a shape (rather, it protects the colour, as applied to a specific part of a product) and so the trade mark did not fall foul of article 3(1)(e)(iii) of Directive 2008/95.

Louboutin has naturally welcomed this decision, as it takes the brand a step closer towards successful enforcement of its trade mark. The case now returns to the referring Dutch court for final judgment.

related opinions

Impact of Covid-19 upon level of fine

Two cases have considered the issue of Covid 19 as part of the sentencing exercise. In the most recent, failures by a principal contractor Modus Workspace, who design and refit refurbishments, led to a £1.1 million fine after an engineer was injured from a fall from a roof.

View blog

Important opportunity to comment on case law precedent

The UK government is considering extending this power to depart from retained EU case law to additional lower courts and tribunals, namely the Court of Appeal in England and Wales and the High Court of Justice in England and Wales and their equivalents.

View blog

Retail ATMs and business rates: clarity at last!

Judgement has been handed down for the seminal case of Cardtronics UK Ltd and others (Respondents) v Sykes and others (Valuation Officers) (Appellants) [2020] UKSC 21.

View blog

Sky’s overly broad trade marks narrowed as found partially invalid for bad faith

Lord Justice Arnold has applied the guidance of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to the evidence before him, in the long standing trade mark dispute between Sky and Skykick.

View blog

Mark Daniels

Mark Daniels

Partner and Head of Business Services

View profile

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up