Designer to the stars Christian Louboutin has received the backing of Europe's top court in a battle to protect the signature red roles of his high-heeled shoes.
Louboutin started the legal action in 2012, when Van Haren brought out a range of shoes by actress Halle Berry which included high heeled shoes with red soles.
The Dutch high street brand argued shapes cannot be registered as trademarks, whereas, Louboutin said the use of it's red colour - named Pantone 18 1663TP - in a certain position - can be registered.
The European Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that Van Haren, a Dutch company that sold similar shoes, had infringed the trade mark.
"A mark consisting of a colour applied to the red sole of a shoe is not covered by the prohibition of the registration of shapes", the European Union judges said in their binding decision.
The Dutch company took the case to the EU court citing European regulations that shapes by themselves can not be registered as trademarks.
The French luxury designer Christian Louboutin received the support of the European Court of Justice in the case against Van Haren
After today's ruling, the case has been referred to the District Court of the Hague.
Elaine O'Hare, an intellectual property specialist at the law firm Stevens & Bolton, said: "The ECJ has not followed the recent recommendation of the advocate general and has instead ruled that Louboutin's red soles can in fact be protected as a trademark".
In a statement, Louboutin said: "For 26 years, the red sole has enabled the public to attribute the origin of the shoe to its creator, Christian Louboutin".
While Louboutin has been victorious in trademark litigation in the US - the designer successfully sued YSL in 2012 for trademark infringement - the brand has seen mixed rulings in other regions.
"The ruling is very short, which is very rare, and it's very clear. This decision is beyond appeal".
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