Yves Saint Laurent, Inc.'s lawyers issued a two-part response to Christian Louboutin's trademark-infringement charges this week, stating first and foremost that no one can prove that YSL's use of red soles hurt Louboutin's sales or caused any consumer confusion. Secondly, they argued that Louboutin never should have gotten a trademark for those red soles anyway. Reports WWD:
“Louboutin’s trademark should have never been granted,” David Bernstein, attorney for YSL, told WWD Wednesday. “We just don’t think that any fashion designer should be able to monopolize any color.”
This is a perfectly fair point, but obviously (and amusingly) Louboutin's lawyer, Harley Lewin, disagrees.
Calling YSL’s argument that having an all-red shoe negates the red sole mark “utter rubbish,” Lewin said that, “unless you are living in a cave,” the consumer most definitely recognizes a red-soled shoe as a Louboutin.
“We are not claiming to own every red under the sun. There’s a particular red that Christian uses on his shoes, a bright, lacquered red,” he said. “We aren’t saying burgundy or orange-red, we aren’t saying pink. We don’t own any other red but that red.”
But as anyone working in the fashion industry (or heck, anyone who's ever shopped for lipstick) knows, there's really no such thing as just "that red."