Written by: Susan Neuberger Weller

Fabric design is a creative art form that has existed for thousands of years. Although the methods for creating such designs have evolved, the purpose and function of such designs has not changed as significantly.  Fabric designs are used for purely ornamental and decorative purposes, for purposes of identity, and also to convey information.  From an intellectual property standpoint, how a fabric design is used may dictate what type of protection it can claim. In addition, the time it takes to obtain each type of IP protection, its duration, and the procedures for enforcement may also dictate the type of protection to seek. Continue Reading It’s a Material IP World: Trademarks, Copyrights, Design Patents and Fabric Designs

Written by: Susan Neuberger Weller

 Christian Louboutin filed suit last week in Federal District Court in New York against Charles Jourdan Fashion Footwear and unnamed companies and John and Jane Does for trademark counterfeiting and infringement and other related claims based upon the Defendants’ sales of women’s shoes bearing red soles. As we previously reported, Louboutin was unsuccessful in its bid to claim exclusivity in the color red when used in any capacity for women’s shoes in its action against Yves Saint Laurent, but still owns valid US trademark Registration No. 3,361,597 for the color red when used on the sole of women’s shoes. The allegedly infringing Charles Jourdan shoes appear to use the color red only on the souls of the shoes. No response to the Complaint has yet been filed by the Defendants.

 Claiming color as a trademark is certainly possible, but can be tricky as noted in our earlier blog on the subject.

We will keep you updated as this new case unfolds. Stay tuned. Continue Reading Louboutin Sees Red Again: Protecting Color as a Trademark

Written by Joseph DiCioccio The Second Circuit recently issued an opinion in the Louboutin v. Yves Saint Laurent trademark case.  To refresh your memory, Louboutin, the high-end women’s shoe designer, had secured a U.S. trademark registration for the color red as used on the outsoles of women’s shoes.  Yves Saint Laurent had been selling shoes with similar red soles, and after initial trademark infringement settlement talks between the parties failed, Louboutin sued for, among other claims, trademark infringement.  The Southern District of New York held that a single color could never serve as a trademark in the fashion industry and thus denied Louboutin’s motion for a preliminary injunction (that would have stopped the sale of the offending shoes during the trial).  Louboutin appealed the decision.  In its recent opinion, the Second Circuit struck down the district court’s holding and determined that a color can, under certain circumstances, function as a trademark, even in the fashion industry.  Continue Reading Louboutin Wins Round Two Against Yves Saint Laurent in Fight Over Red Soles