On September 9, the Beijing Intellectual Property Court determined that defendant Guangdong Wanlima Industrial violated China’s Anti-Unfair Competition Law.

The company was reportedly selling high-heel footwear with a red sole that mirrored the well-known design of Louboutin shoes, causing confusion with consumers.

Article 6(1) of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law of China (2019 Amendment), which prohibits parties from offering up products that are confusingly similar to those of others, including by way of “a label [that is] identical or similar to the name, packaging or decoration … with certain influence.” 

The court found in favour of Louboutin after the company submitted evidence that it had sold footwear products in Mainland China since 2011 with a sales volume of more than US$129.9 million.

According to the court, evidence was “sufficient to prove that [Louboutin’s] ‘red sole shoes’ product and red sole decoration have a high market reputation, have established solid connections with the relevant public, and have the distinctive feature of distinguishing the source of the product”.

As a result, Wanlima will be required to immediately and permanently cease its sales of red-soled footwear, and pay damaged to Louboutin of RMB5 million (US$721,855) and legal expenses of RMB445,000 (US$64,245). 

Source: The Fashion Law