Christian Louboutin, maker of luxury women's dress shoes, recently sued Alba Footwear LLC. This is the second case in two years involving Louboutin. In 2011, Louboutin sued Yves Saint Laurent over its trademarked red lacquered sole. In the 2011 case, YSL was permitted to continue to manufacture monochromatic red shoes (where both the soles and uppers are red) but the court granted Louboutin trademark protection over the red sole alone.
In this case Louboutin claims that Alba manufactured and sold counterfeit Louboutin shoes bearing the red sole mark. Louboutin is alleging trademark counterfeiting and infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition, trademark dilution, and deceptive acts and practices, and is asking the court for an injunction, delivery of all counterfeit shoes and advertising materials containing the red sole mark to Louboutin and $2 million dollars per mark infringed.
TIP: Advertisers should be aware that color may serve as a trademark in certain circumstances.