Zara wins the right to sell Louboutin-like red soles
High street clothing chain Zara has won the right to sell shoes with red soles, despite a spirited challenge from Christian Louboutin, whose 'trademark' scarlet bottoms secured his fortune as a world-renowned shoe designer.
Louboutin's legal team tried to sue Zara for "counterfeiting and unfair competition" in 2011, after they started selling a £45 shoe (pictured above left) similar to his 'Yo Yo' slingback shoe in their stores. Although team Louboutin initially seemed to have a strong case, Zara's lawyers successfully made the claim that "the terms of Louboutin's trademark registration were too vague, noting for instance that it did not contain a Pantone colour reference for the red soles."
The setback for Louboutin comes after the designer lost out to YSL over the same issue a year ago, suggesting that his hopes for a monopoly on red soles could be fading. This judgement not only opens the door for more high street brands to incorporate red soles into their designs, but could make the battle against cheap knock-offs and genuine copyright infringement even harder.What do you think about the decision: should Christian Louboutin be able to prosecute other brands that use red soles in their designs?