Looks like Christian Louboutin is intending to make another signature mark on the industry. He has just been issued a design patent for the brands…'Picks & Co Potpourri Spiked Toe & Lace Sole Pump.'
Issued to the Parisian Fashion House, by the The US Patent and Trademark Office yesterday, the design patent will last for a term of 14 years.
Details can be found here.
After securing legal protection of the brands signature red sole shoe in the U.S a few years back, in a lengthy trademark infringement case between the Paris-based footwear brand and Yves Saint Laurent for selling heels with red soles, it seems that the brands next advance in seeking legal protection involves obtaining design patent protection. In the same way that the courts in Christian Louboutin v. Yves Saint Laurent found that the public identified the Red Sole Mark with Louboutin the designer, the courts in a design infringement proceedings are likely to find infringement if an “ordinary observer” would think that the allegedly infringing design is markedly the same as a patented design when the two designs are set side by side. As such, “innocent” infringement of a design patent can occur without the need (as in trademark law) to prove actual or likely consumer confusion between two products. This means that anyone that produces a shoe with a spiked tip design on the front design, may find themselves liable for design infringement of the luxury fashion houses patented design .
Interestingly, a simple search on google for "spiked toe" shoes show a variety of heels with a a spiked tip design, now however those heels could potentially be infringing the iconic fashion houses newly patented design. Fascinating? Yes...we think, so we'll wait to see how this one plays out...