Yes, Christian Louboutin is still battling it out with Yves Saint Laurent over his patented red sole.
But things are looking up for the shoe mogul, who sat before a panel of Appeals Court judges yesterday afternoon. Back in August, Manhattan judge Victor Marrero denied Louboutin a preliminary injunction and raised doubts about the validity of his red sole trademark. Louboutin’s lawyers immediately followed an appeal, and a hearing was held yesterday.
Louboutin’s lawyer argued that Marrero mistakenly interpreted the trademark as applying to all shades of red, instead of the brand’s very specific shade of Chinese red. YSL’s lawyers argued that the company often makes monochrome shoes, and that they do not think it would be fair to be barred from producing all-red ones.
Much to Louboutin’s delight, the judges criticized Marrero’s opinion. A decision has yet to be announced, but it looks like the original verdict could very well be overturned, thus allowing a proper trial to commence. If that’s the case, it’s possible YSL would choose to settle instead.
Diane von Furstenberg attended the hearing with Louboutin, who told WWD that this was a very serious matter for him:
“For YSL and [its parent company] PPR Group, this might just be a legal matter, but that’s not the case for me. On the contrary, to me it is very personal: After all, this is an intrinsic part of my life and my company, which bears my name — and which I have built over the past 20 years and still independently own. This is why I had to be there in person.”