“red sole” decision between Christian Louboutin and the CNIPA

In the retrial of the trademark administrative dispute case “red sole” between Christian Louboutin and the CNIPA, the Supreme People’s Court dismissed the claim of the CNIPA on Dec. 24, 2019. The application of retrial was rejected, the decision of the Beijing Higher People’s Court was maintained.

According to decision of the Beijing Higher People’s Court in December 2018, the trademark “red color that used on the sole” is to be considered as a mono-color trademark that the using position of the color is defined. The Beijing Higher People’s Court affirmed, mono-color which the using position is defined, can be registered and protected as trademark in China.

The Supreme People’s Court affirmed in its decision, although the elements of the said trademark do not belong to the elements that explicitly listed in Article 8 of the Trademark Law, they are not explicitly excluded by the Trademark Law from the marks that can be registered as a trademark.

This decision provides the possibility for protecting a new type trademark in China. For the brand Christian Louboutin, if the significance of ”red sole” also can be proved, it can be registered and protected as trademark in China.

Conclusion: In the retrial of the trademark administrative dispute case “red sole”, the Supreme People’s Court confirmed for the first time that “red color that used on the sole” is registerable