Seeing Red

The judge has ruled: a brand based on color will not fly. The crayon box is for all to share. Didn’t we learn this in kindergarten?

Shoe designer Christian Louboutin – he of the red sole shoes – lost his bid to trademark the color when Judge Victor Marrero of Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that it was “overly broad.” The sharing of colors in the fashion industry promotes “robust competition” and thus, if Yves Saint Laurent was to continue making red shoes, he has every right to do so.

What this legal ruling makes clear is that brand decisions must go beyond design and color, which although paramount to identity, can’t be the sole focus.

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