Sole Sisters

A recent article from Forbes online talks about the efforts of designer Christian Louboutin to trademark the red soles of its shoes. It brings up the very interesting question of whether a color can be a trademark. And because this is a legal question, the answer is “maybe.” For example, the Tiffany blue bag is trademarked. But that bag has nothing to do with Tiffany’s actual product – jewelry. It’s not functional. But that’s not the case with color on a shoe. It serves a function – to match the color of the rest of the ensemble. It would be pretty tough to draw the line here. What would the outcome be? The soles can’t be red, but the rest of the shoe could be? And should Louboutin have a monopoly on the color red? I suspect not.