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French luxury footwear designer, Christian Louboutin, could lose its legal battle to protect his iconic red sole as a trademark.
According to an advocate general at the European Court of Justice, Louboutin’s trademark could be ruled out as invalid because it combines both colour and shape. The footwear designer has Pantone 18 1663TP as a trademark. It is claimed the red colour could not be considered separate from the shape of the sole, as shapes are not usually protected under EU trade mark law.
The label has an ongoing battle with Dutch high-street chain Van Haren Schoenen since 2012, when it also battled against fashion luxury house Yves Saint Lauren in New York. In 2016, a Swiss court ruled that the sole of "somewhat garish colour" is merely a decorative feature and cannot be protected in accordance with Switzerland’s trademark law.