Yesterday, our inimitable fashion law columnist Charles Colman gave us an in-depth explanation of the many intricacies of the Christian Louboutin trademark infringement case against Yves Saint Laurent. Louboutin may have lost ground when the judge presiding over the case denied its request for a preliminary injunction against YSL, but the company says it’s prepared to “fight like hell to the end.”
But whether or not all that fighting will do them any good remains to be seen. As Colman wrote yesterday, the judge seems to have already made up his mind about the biggest issue at hand: whether or not red soles actually fall under the protection of trademark laws. But Footwear News reports that Louboutin still has a dog in the fight, as it were, and has until next Friday to give Judge Victor Marrero a good reason not to just rule that any shoemaker who wants to use red soles can use red soles.
“If Louboutin got the injunction it’d be a good indication of where the judge would go and increase pressure on YSL to settle,” said Susan Scafidi, academic director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School. “Louboutin just has more of an uphill battle than initially anticipated, but this is not dispositive of a final action. They could appeal denial of the injunction, but all that does is drag things out.”
The last thing that any company wants to do is wage a drawn-out and expensive court battle, but Louboutin’s lawyer Harvey Levin told FN that he’s going to do everything in his power to make certain his company keeps the trademark.
“If the judge rules sua sponte [referring to a judge’s order made without a request by any party to the case] then we would take steps to have that decision reversed,” Lewin said.
And we can only suppose that means this case won’t be settled for a long, long time.
Louboutin’s Next Step [Footwear News]