Tuesday, June 6 2023   \  Published by Kluwer Trademark Blog .

Brazil – Christian Louboutin victory protects red sole as “unregistered” design IP

Brazil – Christian Louboutin victory protects red sole as “unregistered” design IP

Like many companies in the fashion industry, Christian Louboutin did not seek design patent protection for its shoe designs in Brazil. The red sole trademark application was filed in 2009 in Brazil, at a time when position trademarks were not regulated by the Brazilian trademark law. The regulation of the Brazilian PTO on position trademarks only came into effect in October 1st, 2021, and Christian Louboutin’s trademark application is still pending.

The absence of registration of the red sole and designs of Christian Louboutin’s shoes in Brazil created an expectation on the part of local designers that the iconic French designer creations could be misappropriated. One such case where a Brazilian shoe company marketed online red sole shoes inspired by Christian Louboutin’s creations made it to the Appellate Court of Sao Paulo.

Without a trademark or design registration, Christian Louboutin filed a lawsuit based on unfair competition and copyright infringement against the local company, also arguing the notoriety of the red sole. In its defense, the Brazilian company argued that Christian Louboutin had no rights in Brazil and the apposition of its own trademark on the shoes would be enough to avoid any confusion on the part of the consumers. Read more

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