Famed footwear designer Christian Louboutin is known primarily for his red-soled shoes. In the legal community, the Paris-based brand is known for the lawsuit it initiated against Yves Saint Laurent for using that red sole. Well, it looks like Louboutin is looking to prevent others from copying more than just the red sole. The Paris-based footwear brand has quietly been amassing a small horde of design patents for its sky-high heels. As of last month, Louboutin was awarded design patent protection for the spiked-toe element of a number of its shoes. The brand can add this to a growing list of design-patented elements, which include at least ten others, most of which were issued this year, after being filed roughly 3 years ago.
Louboutin’s newest design to receive protection joins the likes of its Azimut Leather Lace-up Ankle Boots, Manovra 70 Studded Leather and Pvc Slingback Pumps, Guerilla Studded Open-Toe Booties, Gortik bootie, Body Strass crystal-embellished mesh and leather pumps, Tassilo Flat Black Patent Loafers With Spikes, and even the butterfly adorned shoe it released in collaboration with Disney, among others.
As blatant copying by fast fashion retailers and other footwear-specific brands, such as Steve Madden and the like, has become increasingly commonplace, brands that can afford it have begun to place significant reliance on design patents. Jimmy Choo, for instance, has been amassing design patents on its footwear for about ten years now. Hermes has also been filing for design patents to protect its footwear for quite awhile. Such protection is also popular to protect bags, as indicated by Alexander Wang, YSL, Celine, and Balenciaga’s relatively recent awards.