VanHaren has lost its legal dispute with designer brand Christian Louboutin: the European Court has decided the Dutch shoe chain is not allowed to use red soles in its shoes as Louboutin holds the exclusive rights.
Louboutin wins again
In 2012, the Dutch shoe retailer released a pair of pumps with red soles, but was sued by French luxury label Christian Louboutin: that brand is known around the world for its high heels with bright red soles. According to Louboutin, the VanHaren shoes violate the brand's exclusive right, with patents in effect in the Benelux. The discussion whether the patent also holds for the colour of soles or merely the shape, was first settled by the court of The Hague in April 2013: it agreed with Louboutin and ordered VanHaren to stop selling the shoes.
VanHaren appealed against that judgement and the matter was presented to the European Court, which also decided that the red sole is covered by Louboutin's exclusive right. Now the court of The Hague has again reached its own verdict, based on the advice of the European Court, and remains in the same position: VanHaren is no longer allowed to manufacture or sell shoes with red soles.
The Dutch brand is considering another appeal: "We have taken notice of this verdict and we will consider whether or not to appeal against it," said a spokesperson.