Apr 11, 2011 12:00AM

Louboutin Sues YSL Over A Shoe

The great red-soled debate.

In a battle of the French designers, Christian Louboutin has filed a lawsuit against Yves Saint Laurent for the manufacture of infringing footwear. Louboutin filed the trademark lawsuit in a Manhattan court and is seeking a court injunction against the sale of supposed copycat shoes by YSL in the US.

The shoes in question feature in YSL's Spring 2011 collection - a red suede shoe sporting a matching red sole that's almost identical to that which has become Louboutin's signature. Although their Spring 2011 collection also featured purple shoes with purple soles and navy shoes with - shockingly - navy soles, Louboutin is less than impressed. Seeking damages of at least 1 million US dollars, the lawsuit claims that Christian Louboutin originated the red sole logo trademark almost 20 years ago, when he painted red nail polish onto the black soles of a pair of women's shoes.

In 1997, Louboutin registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office, but it is so far unclear whether the trademark in question covers all red-soled shoes. Court papers state, "The defendant's use of red footwear outsoles that are virtually identical to the plaintiff's Red Sole Mark is likely to cause and is causing confusion, mistake and deception among the relevant purchasing public as to the origin of the infringing footwear."

The iconic Louboutin sole has helped the French shoemaker to build a very well-shod empire and garner a cult following the world over but if this lawsuit proves successful for Louboutin, it is likely to become even more legendary.

christianlouboutin.com