Louboutin's rivals brought to heel in trademark dispute

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Louboutin heels feature bright red soles (Source: Getty)

European authorities have dug their heels in on a case involving high-end shoe designer Christian Louboutin.

Louboutin's distinctive red-soled high heels are a favourite of celebrities on the red carpet, but the company is trying to protect its design from being used by a Dutch retailer.

The ongoing legal battle took a turn in Louboutin's favour today when the European Court of Justice said that the position of red on the underside of the shoe could be considered a part of the trademark.

A Dutch court had asked the ECJ if the prohibition on the registration of shapes as trademarks also applied to the combination of shapes with other characteristics such as colours.

Louboutin welcomed the ruling and said that this strengthened its case.

"The red colour applied on a sole of a woman's high heel shoe is a position mark, as Maison Christian Louboutin has maintained for many years," the fashion house said in a statement.

Louboutin went through a similar round of legal challenges in the US back in 2012, eventually winning the right to protect its distinctive red soles.

But the European leg of its fight is not at an end yet. The Dutch court which went to the ECJ for guidance is yet to issue its final ruling.

Read more: Gucci and Guess settle nine year legal battle over the letter G

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