So, a couple of weeks ago I woke up to news about a man who makes uncomfortable shoes with red soles suing another industry stalwart that makes, well, equally uncomfortable shoes that sometimes have red soles too. I think I missed the follow-up last week: Christian Louboutin is suing another label, Carmen Steffens (Brazil), for using red soles too.
Obviously everything will turn on whether red soles can be said to be a Louboutin trade mark; but I’m more curious about the jurisdictional issues. It seems that Louboutin will be suing Carmen Steffens France, which seems to be a separate legal entity from CS Brazil. How will that limit the effect of the French court’s ruling, if it rules in favour of Louboutin? Does this mean that CS will be able to sell only outside of France? But isn’t the rest of the world what’s important these days?
What about all these shops at Far East that seem to be profiting out of equally uncomfortable shoes with red soles as well?
If anyone’s interested, Directive 89/104 governs trade mark infringement in the EU — but that’s as much as I know about EU law.
P.S. Obviously I’ve been walking around in just flats and old sneakers these days.
(Image: Christian Louboutin — yep, the original.)