UPDATE: YSL wipes the courtroom floor with Louboutin, but no ruling yet

Posted by Charles Colman

This afternoon, in the only case fashion law people really care about right now... nothing much happened.

 

Well, that's not true.  A lot happened, but at the end of an hour-and-a-half-long hearing on Christian Louboutin's request for a preliminary injunction against Yves Saint Laurent, Judge Marrero adjourned without making a decision either way.  Instead, he promised to issue a ruling "as expeditiously as possible."

 

It seems unlikely he will grant Louboutin an injunction of any moment, since he grilled Louboutin's lawyer (in the judge's own, good-natured way) and seemed stuck on the issue of how other designers will know when they've come too close to "Louboutin red."

 

YSL's attorney quickly picked up on this concern and played up the "poor us, we have no way to know what we're allowed to do" angle.  Though Marrero had interrupted Louboutin's lawyer with several tough questions (which the latter twisted himself into knots trying to answer), the judge mostly sat quietly and listened to YSL's attorney as he made the same compelling arguments laid out in his opposition brief -- this time with props! When Marrero did speak up during YSL's presentation, it was usually to joke around with the defendant's lawyer.  At one point, for example, YSL explained that using red-lacquer soles serves a variety of functions, including evoking Chinese decor; the judge mischievously asked if any Chinese restaurants with red-lacquer decor had been sued, too.

 

By the time Louboutin's attorney got up for rebuttal, he was visibly angry and somewhat scattered.  But Judge Marrero did conclude by asking when the parties could be ready for a trial, if one is necessary, so perhaps the case isn't as open-and-shut as the judge's tone suggested.

 

More details forthcoming...