Louboutin ces setback in EU legchristian louboutinal battle over red soles

The owners of EasyJet became caught up in a chromatic contretemps when they announced plans to enter the mobile phone market in . It is perhaps not surprising that opposition to EasyMobiles marketing plans came from Orange.

He added that any decision on the trademarks validity should not take into account the attractiveness of the goods flowing from the reputation of the mark or its proprietor.

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In the UK High Court upheld an earlier decision that Cadburys trademark for its purple packaging was invalid. It was after Nestl appealed against a ruling that fellow competitors to the UK chocolate maker could not use Pantone C.

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It is not the end of the story, although it is a blow to Louboutins case. The court still has to come to a definitive decision, which may or may not follow Mr Szpunars opinion.

The Dutch company having been ordered to stop producing its black and blue shoes with red soles appealed against that decision and in the case was referred to the ECJ for clarification.

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The latest development in that battle comes from the European Court of Justice ECJ.

Christian Louboutin has said the shiny red colour of the soles has no function other than to identify to the public that they are mine.

On Tuesday, ECJs Advocate General Maciej Szpunar gave his view that it did.

French shion designer Christian Louboutin has been producing his mous scarletsoled shoes for more than a quarter of a century.

Senior judges have been discussing whether his trademark in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg the Benelux countries holds water.

He is not the first brand leader to cry blue murder after feeling their signature colours were in danger of being appropriated by someone else.

Examples from the United States perhaps give the best impression that you can more or less own a colour. The jewellery brand Tifny and delivery company UPS have both secured high levels of protection for their chosen hues robins egg blue and Pullman brown, respectively.

Van Haren argues the trademark is invalid because EU law does not allow trademarks that consist solely of the shape that gives substantial value to the goods.

The trademark covered the use of the colour applied to the whole visible suce, or being the predominant colour applied to the whole visible suce, of the packaging of the goods.

It is worth noting that Christian Louboutin holds a valid trademark for redsoled shoes in the US provided the rest of the shoe is not also red. Nevertheless, that has not been enough to protect him in the European courts.

The courts were happy so r as the whole visible suce was concerned, but found the predominant colour to be too vague. It therefore rendered the whole trademark unusable.

Louboutins mark covers the colour red Pantone TP applied to the sole of a shoe.

What has been at issue is whether or not shape includes colour. If it does, the mark can be ruled invalid.

As long as there is this variation between jurisdictions, colour trademarking is likely to remain a grey area.

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Christian Louboutin put his foot down, saying it infringed his brands Benelux trademark. The District Court in The Hague agreed and granted a temporary injunction against Van Haren.

Since the defining day when he reached for an assistants Chinese Red nail polish to add a finishing flourish to his Pense high heels, he has fought to protect his signature .

The people of Myanmars Rakhine state, which has been plagued by sectarian violence, say they feel abandoned.

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In , BP lost a fight to trademark the use of the colour green on petrol forecourts in Australia. It iled to convince the intellectual property watchdog that the firm was inextricably linked in the mind of the average motorist with a particular shade of green Pantone C, if you must know.

The telecoms giant claimed the presence of two mobile companies on the market both sporting tangerine would be confusing.

The case goes back to when the Dutch shoe retailer Van Haren brought out its Fifth Avenue by Halle Berry line. It included highheeled shoes with red soles.

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