BRUSSELS: French luxury shoe designer Christian Louboutin won the support of Europe’s highest court on Tuesday over trademarking his signature red-soled high-heeled shoes.

Louboutin took Dutch shoe maker Van Haren to court in the Netherlands after Van Haren sold similar shoes, and the case was then referred to the European Court of Justice.

Paris-based Louboutin has marketed the red-bottomed shoes for more than a quarter of a century and the glam footwear was featured on the consumerism-worshipping television series Sex and the City.

The years-long, arcane legal dispute centred on whether Louboutin’s trademark involved a shape or a colour under European Union law.

The Dutch company argued that European regulations say shapes by themselves cannot be registered as trademarks, and the Dutch court referred the issue to the ECJ.

Louboutin argued that the use of a colour — specifically in this case a red pigment called Pantone 18 1663TP — can be trademarked.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2018