通过 泰勒·贝克 and 特德·麦克斯

2012年9月5日,美国第二巡回上诉法院发布了期待已久且备受期待的裁决。 Christian 卢布丁 S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent Am. Holding, Inc., Docket No. 11-3303-cv. 第二电路 reversed the lower court decision, in part, holding that Christian 卢布丁’s “red outsole”商标是有效和可执行的,并且在一定程度上得到了确认,认为该商标保护仅限于“red outsole”与鞋子其余部分的颜色形成对比。结果,Christian 卢布丁(“Louboutin”)没有成功,时装工作室伊夫·圣罗兰(Yves Saint Laurent)“YSL”)禁止使用红色鞋底作为 单色 red shoe. The ruling, deciding a novel 和 hotly debated issue of U.S. trademark law regarding aesthetic 功能性ity, is a victory for both sides in some respects, yet certainly leaves the door open for future debate 和 lawsuits about the scope of the 卢布丁 mark’s protection.

克里斯汀·卢布汀(Christian 卢布丁)以其标志性的红漆鞋底而享誉全球,在高端女性领域已成为高级时装,品质和风格的象征’的鞋类。美国专利商标局(“USPTO”)颁发商标注册,并在其中授予Louboutin商标保护“red sole mark”于2007年根据第2(d)条界定时尚界力量的宣言’承认红色唯一商标的次要含义。在2011年,YSL推出了一系列YSL鞋子,这些鞋子具有单一单色(意味着鞋垫,鞋跟和整个外部都具有相同的颜色)。认为这种单色的红鞋会侵犯其“red sole mark,”Louboutin提起诉讼,并要求其采取临时禁制令,以防止其制造,销售和分销单色红鞋,并提出了商标侵权和假冒,原产地名称虚假以及商标稀释等索赔。 YSL提出反诉,部分要求取消Louboutin’s 红色唯一标记 上 grounds that the mark was merely ornamental 和 功能性, citing the doctrine of aesthetic 功能性ity.

On August 10, 2011, Judge Victor Marrero of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York denied 卢布丁’s motion for a preliminary injunction against YSL. In his opinion, Judge Marrero held that a single color can never be protected by trademark in the fashion industry 和 that, as a result, 卢布丁’的商标可能无法执行。地方法院裁定,在时装界,单色标记是 本身 inherently “functional” (that is, color cannot be used as a brand identifier because it serves significant aesthetic functions unique to the fashion industry), 和 that any such registered mark would likely be held invalid. 卢布丁 brought an interlocutory appeal challenging the district court’的应用“aesthetic 功能性ity” doctrine, 和 sought to reverse the decision denying that 卢布丁’的红色唯一商标应享有法律保护。

经上诉,提交第二巡回法院的法律问题是“单一颜色是否可以作为时装界受法律保护的商标,尤其是作为特定风格的高级时装女性的商标’s footwear.” 第二电路 concluded that the district court erred by holding that a single color 本身 can never serve as a trademark in the fashion industry because such a holding was inconsistent with U.S. Supreme Court precedent 上 aesthetic 功能性ity 和 single color trademark protection. After a discussion of the history of both the utilitarian 和 aesthetic 功能性ity doctrines, the Second Circuit stated that a “mark is aesthetically 功能性, 和 therefore ineligible for protection . . . where protection of the mark显着地 破坏竞争对手’在相关市场竞争的能力。” (Emphasis in original.) 第二电路 reasoned that Supreme Court precedent did not sanction an industry-based 本身 在这种情况下,该规则将否认对使用单一颜色作为商标的保护,因为它与时装业有关。

第二电路 then observed that, although the 红色唯一标记 was ineligible for trademark protection insofar as it would preclude competitors’ use of 红色大底s in 所有 情况,包括YSL’s 单色 use, the 卢布丁 红色唯一标记 had achieved “secondary meaning,”因此是必要的“distinctness” to merit protection, when used as a 红色大底 对比 with the rest of the shoe. Thus, the Second Circuit reasoned that YSL’s use of red color 上 a 单色 shoe did not infringe 卢布丁’s 红色唯一标记 because the use of the red was not a trademark use.

第二巡回法院认为,没有任何理由使单色商标在时装界无法获得次要含义,并且如果被使用则可以用作品牌标识“如此一来,特定的设计师就将它变成了一个符号,它的主要意义是识别产品的来源,而不是产品本身。” Citing 卢布丁’多年来,大量的广告和营销支出用于提高红色鞋底的商誉,以及红色鞋底与Louboutin的成功声名和关联度,Second Circuit得出结论,红色大底已经成为识别和区分Louboutin品牌的标志,因此是符合《兰纳姆法》(Lanham Act)的商标保护资格的独特标志。但是,第二巡回赛小心地限制了商标’s protection to the bottom sole, explaining that the secondary meaning of the 红色唯一标记 did not extend to uses in which the sole does not contrast with the upper part of the shoe, 例如, a 单色 shoe, stating that the 卢布丁 mark is closely associated with the contrast between the red sole 和 the upper sole. The Court of Appeals consequently instructed the 美国专利商标局 to limit the mark’s registration to 上 ly cases where the red sole contrasts with the upper part of the shoe. 第二电路 also stated that “任何一方均可恢复管辖权” to the Court “向书记员致函,以考虑是否存在与此案有关的论点” 和 that “不会向[同一]小组辩论任何此类程序。”

第二电路’这项决定虽然在商标法,时装法以及某种程度上是流行文化领域具有里程碑式的意义,但仍悬而未决。例如,在“contrasting” 和 “monochromatic”? At what point does a non-infringing 单色 red shoe become an infringing 对比 shoe with a pink top 和 red sole? Such highly fact-specific questions may remain 上 the horizon so long as competitors seek to trade upon the market power 和 所有ure of the red sole trademark. If nothing else, the Second Circuit’做出这样的决定是一种妥协:一方面,奖励一家致力于打造世界知名时尚品牌的公司,花费数年时间和数百万美元;另一方面,阻止该公司在完全依赖于该行业的行业中超越其彩色商标。其设计师的艺术感,创造力和独创性。