Logourl black
From our private database of 14,200+ case briefs...

Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent America Holding, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
696 F.3d 206 (2012)


Facts

Christian Louboutin (plaintiff) was a French designer of women’s footwear and accessories. Louboutin’s shoe lines always featured lacquered, bright-red outsoles that contrasted sharply with the colors of the uppers and soles. After 15 years of increasing commercial success and recognition, Louboutin trademarked his characteristic red-lacquered outsoles as the Red Sole Mark. Yves Saint Laurent America Holding, Inc. (YSL) (defendant) began selling a series of monochrome shoes. Each shoe’s upper, sole, outsole, and heel were one color. YSL created its monochrome shoes in purple, green, yellow, and red. Louboutin sued YSL for trademark infringement, seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent YSL from selling any shoes with outsoles that used the same color red as the Red Sole Mark. YSL filed counterclaims against Louboutin, alleging that the Red Sole Mark was invalid because the mark was either: (1) ornamental rather than distinctive, or (2) functional. The district court denied Louboutin’s request for a preliminary injunction, finding that Louboutin was unlikely to succeed on the merits of his claims. The district court reasoned that trademark protection could not be extended to a single color in the context of the fashion industry. Louboutin appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cabranes, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 251,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.