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Tiffany Files Amicus Brief in Louboutin-YSL Trademark Dispute

By Robyn Hagan Cain | Last updated on

The questionably-trademarked Christian Louboutin red-soled shoes have found a friend in Tiffany blue.

The Louboutin YSL trademark dispute grew more colorful this week after Tiffany & Co. filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit, which is heading to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

But Tiffany’s brief isn’t motivated by love of the famous footwear; according to Susan Scafidi, director of Fordham University’s Fashion Law Institute, the world-famous jeweler is worried about protecting its trademarked blue. Scafidi told Women’s Wear Daily that a Louboutin trademark cancellation would “weaken color trademarks across the world of fashion.”

Tiffany registered its blue packaging trademark in 1998. While there is a distinction between Louboutin's mark and Tiffany's mark -- one is for "product packaging," the other for "product configuration" -- Scafidi said based on the "broad nature" of U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero's ruling in the first round of the Louboutin YSL case, there may be some cause for concern.

Louboutin skeptics, including Judge Marrero, maintain that a color cannot be trademarked. If appellate courts agree, the decision could affect many fashion brands that are closely associated with a signature color. Hermes orange, Valentino red, and Tiffany's Pantone-credited blue could all be compromised, reports Elle UK.

Even though Tiffany has filed an amicus brief in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, that doesn't mean that its taking the side of it's new-found legal "friend;" Tiffany's attorneys claim that it is merely protecting its blue-box interests.

Louboutin, who has been making the famed red-soled shoes for almost 20 years, told Vogue UK in August that he will "fight like hell" in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to protect his right to red in the trademark dispute.

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