Fashion law roundup: Louboutin recaps; did H&M rip off an ATL artist?; Downton Abbey drama; cosmetology school forcibly renamed

Posted by Charles Colman

LAW OF FASHION ® has its own views on yesterday's Second Circuit oral argument in Louboutin v. YSL, but it must hold its tongue for now, as the author of this post has his own trademark-related appeal on the way up to the Second Circuit... right... now.


Anyway, here's the fashion law word around town.

Christian Louboutin, YSL Face Off in Appeals Court (WWD)

"Standing before the grand, wood-paneled courtroom, [Louboutin's attorney Harley] Lewin said Judge Marrero 'erred' because he viewed Louboutin’s mark as encompassing every shade of red, and not one shade of red, namely the brand’s signature Chinese red. As a result, Judge Marrero concluded that no one designer should have a “monopoly” on any color. . . . 'We make monochrome shoes,' said [YSL's attorney David] Bernstein, who argued that single-color design is integral to YSL’s DNA. 'We don’t want to find out we can’t make red shoes.'"

The Red-Sole Case (WSJ Law)

Can the color red be trademarked?  Two luxury brands took to open court Tuesday to battle over the hue.

"Of the panel's judges—Jose A. Cabranes, Debra Ann Livingston and Chester J. Straub—Judge Straub asked the most pointed questions of the lawyers, especially YSL's Mr. Bernstein.  He requested, for example, that Mr. Bernstein point to the place in Judge Marrero's opinion where he explains his blanket proposition that colors can't be used as trademarks in fashion. 'Where does he recite in great detail the basis for his holding?' asked Judge Straub. 'You're not going to find it!'"


PBS Launches Ill-Advised & Unauthorized Downton Abbey Jewelry Line (Styleite)

"Until Tuesday afternoon, the public broadcaster had been selling a collection of Downton Abbey-inspired jewels, like a 'Lady Mary knotted pearl necklace and earring set' (for $184.99) and a 'Lady Sybil black pearl bracelet and earring set' ($159.99). As of today, the entire 38-piece collection has been removed, due in no small part to the fact that Carnival Films, the British producers and copyright owners of the series, threatened legal action."

Kohler, salon school settle trademark lawsuit (AP via

"Jill and Burt Kohler own a cosmetology school in Scottsdale, Ariz., called Kohler Academy. Not anymore..."

H&M is Awesome (regretsy)

"On one side of the sign, I painted, 'You Look Nice Today' followed by a little heart. This was on the side of the sign that I thought people would see on their way to work. On the other side of the sign (the side I thought people would see the most on their return back to the neighborhood) I painted, 'I’m So Happy You’re Here' with another little heart. It was a small gesture that I genuinely hoped would make my neighbors feel good.  A few days ago, friends started sending me links to the H&M UK website. Apparently, H&M were so impressed by my work, that they were using it on pillowcases and doormats, with no credit or compensation."

[This post is for entertainment and informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship among any individuals or entities.  Any views expressed in this post or at the linked web pages are those of the writer on a particular date, and should not necessarily be attributed to this writer, his law firm, or its clients.  LAW OF FASHION ® does not and cannot warrant the thoroughness or accuracy of the content at the linked web pages.]