Designers, models, celebrities and media representatives across the globe have flocked to the Big Apple for New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, which kicks off today. And though fashionistas will be focusing mainly on the latest spring ensembles, they also might be gossiping about the recent outcome of a fierce legal battle between two stalwart brands.
The Paris-based shoe designer Christian Louboutin and his company, Louboutin SA, sued rival French luxury fashion house Yves Saint Laurent America (YSL) last April, claiming YSL’s all-red shoes infringed Louboutin’s signature red-soled shoes, which the company began selling in 1992 and patented in 2008. But in August 2011, a federal judge rejected Louboutin’s claim that YSL’s monochromatic shoes are copycats and said the company didn’t have the right to trademark a single color in the fashion industry. Louboutin appealed, and the 2nd Circuit heard arguments in January. YSL claimed it began selling red-soled shoes long before Louboutin, and it argued that it should be able to continue selling its monochromatic shoes—including red ones.