Christian Louboutin wins Indian trademark battle

The luxury shoemaker Christian Louboutin has won close to ten lakh rupees (approximately 156,000 US dollars) in an Indian court case over the brand’s signature red heels.

Christian Louboutin has won close to ten lakh rupees in an Indian court case - Christian Louboutin- Facebook

The Louboutin brand was awarded damages and a permanent injunction against two Indian shoe dealers for the infringement of its red sole trademark in India. The case played out at the Delhi High Court and the accused were name as Kamal Family Footwear and Adra Steps. The judge, Justice Mukta Gupta, ruled that the two brands had indeed infringed on Louboutin’s copyright by producing shoes which also featured a red sole in the same hue as almost all Louboutin shoes. The Judge stated that the red sole is a signature Louboutin detail that is well-known enough in India for the shoemakers to have known about it.

 Summonses were issued in June 2016 to the defendants, Kamal Famiy Footwear and Adra Steps, after the Louboutin brand became aware of their sales of women’s high heels with red soles. During the case, Justice Mukta Gupta cited Louboutin’s 120- plus shops worldwide, including his two in India, as well as the brand’s trademark. “The goodwill and renowned reputation of the ‘Red Sole’ trademark has spilled over into India from various countries around the world, and consumers were well aware of this goodwill and reputation even before the plaintiff’s trademark was first formally launched in India,” Gupta stated.

This court case is a landmark in India and will set a precedent for intellectual property disputes moving forward. 2017 saw the subject make headlines when Rohit Bal copyrighted his signature cockerel motif and JJ Valaya accused the ethnic wear label Neeru’s of plagiarism of one of the former’s designs. It appears that, this year, the law will have a more solid grounding on which to base these types of cases in the fashion industry.

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