Not only are red soles Christian Louboutin‘s signature — they’re also its trademark in the legal sense. Three years ago, the brand registered a trademark for its red soles with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Last week Louboutin sued Yves Saint Laurent over its red-soled footwear, and it looks like the company is taking action against Brazilian shoemaker Carmen Steffens, too.
While Steffens claims “the tones are not the same, and, as catalogs dating from 1996 can prove, Carmen Steffens shoes contain soles of all colors, including red,” its website proves it did try to bank on Louboutin’s reputation. Just a few days ago the company posted an article from Tout Ma on its site exclaiming “Carmen Steffens compared with Louboutin by French Magazine”. They even included comparison pics!
As per Footwear News:
Carmen Steffens’ president of U.S. operations, Mark Willingham, told FN that “Carmen Steffens France is confident in its position regarding the brand’s long-standing use of color on the soles of some styles of Carmen Steffens shoes, including the infrequent use of various tones of red.” He pointed out that “of the 250 styles in Carmen Steffens France’s current collection, only three styles utilize red tones on their soles.”
Even if they’ve been making shoes with red soles for years (and the red in fact varies greatly from Louboutin’s red and very few of its shoes even have red soles), it doesn’t excuse the fact that they have been trying to make a profit off of getting likened to Louboutin, even going as far as promoting these comparisons on their own website.
Do you think Louboutin has a case?