Thanks to its unmistakable red sole, Louboutin wins a lawsuit in China. The Beijing Intellectual Property Court found Guangdong Wanlima Industrial, a Guangzhou company listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, guilty of “intentionally and maliciously selling high-heeled shoes with a red sole that mirrored the design and colour of Christian Louboutin”. All of which caused confusion among consumers. The Chinese company was ordered to immediately and permanently cease sales of the shoes in question and to pay Louboutin $722,000 in damages, plus $64,000 in legal fees.
Louboutin wins lawsuit in China
The brand Christian Louboutin had sued Wanlima because the latter had sold shoes similar to those produced by the French brand on Tmall and at New World Department Stores. According to Loboutin, the shoe models sold generated confusion among consumers in light of the “high reputation” of its shoes and the fact that its models with red soles are “well known to the target audience”.
Red soles cannot be copied
Thus, the Beijing court, in a first instance ruling, agreed with Louboutin, finding that Wanlima’s use of “the same or similar logos with the trade name and decoration of red soles” violated the Unfair Competition Law. The Fashion Law, which reports the news, recalls how this victory follows Louboutin’s victory in 2020, when the Chinese Supreme People’s Court, overturning an earlier ruling, ruled in favour of the brand. There is more. This ruling is yet another demonstration of how the orientation of Chinese judges on counterfeiting is changing. In fact, in recent years, more and more Western companies are winning lawsuits (often of exhausting duration, even over decades) on trademark protection.