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Meaghan H. Kent, Venable LLP, USA
Briana C. Rizzo, Venable LLP, USA
First published on

Louboutin v. Van Haren: Why Louboutin Isn’t Seeing Red ...

Meaghan H. Kent, Venable LLP, USA, Briana C. Rizzo, Venable LLP, USA, First published on www.venable.comOn February 6, 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) Advocate General Szpunar handed down a nonbinding opinion on the validity of Christian Louboutin’s “Red Sole” trademark registration within the European Union. Additional Opinion of Advocate General Szpunar, Christian Louboutin et al. v. Van Haren Schoenen BV, C-163/16 (translated version available here). This decision comes after years of litigation between Louboutin and Dutch footwear company Van Haren, in which Louboutin alleges Van Haren’s “Fifth Avenue by Halle Berry” footwear collection infringes its “Red Sole” mark, and Van Haren, in turn, alleges that Louboutin’s “Red Sole” registration is not valid under EU law. Originally filed in the District Court of the Hague, an appealed injunction ruling has brought this case before Europe’s highest court, the CJEU.
In June, AG Szpunar determined that Louboutin’s “Red Sole” mark qualifies as a “shape mark,” or “a mark consisting of the shape of the goods and seeking protection for a color in relation to
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