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Shoe soles and other shoe designs and patterns can be non-traditional trademarks. The Louboutin red soled women’s designer shoesare well known, expensive, and the subject of trademark litigation (for an excellent discussion, see: Duets Blog Louboutin Red-Sole & Surrounding Contrast: An Implied Trademark Limitation).

Here are some other interesting and/or well known shoe patterns, soles, and designs that are registered with the USPTO. Some of them, as you can see, are quite well known [all are registered for footwear products; click images for USPTO records]:

  • Owner: Adidas [Description of Mark: The mark consists of three parallel stripes applied to footwear, the stripes are positioned on the footwear upper in the area between the laces and the sole. The dotted outline of the footwear is not claimed as part of the mark and is intended only to show the position of the mark.]
  • Owner: Prada [Description of Mark: The mark consists of a red stripe placed longitudinally along the middle of the heel of an item of footwear, partly covering the rear of the sole and partly the rear of the item of footwear. Any molding seen on the sole or on the rear part of the item of footwear and/or production characteristic are not part of the mark.]
  • [Description of Mark: The mark consists of a blue rectangular design which is attached to the heel or sole of footwear.]
  • Owner: Vans
  •  Owner: Converse [Description of Mark: The mark consists of Repeating Star Design.]
  • Owner: Converse [Description of Mark: The mark consists of the three dimensional trade dress design of the iconic and classic Chuck Taylor All Star basketball shoe for which the following primary features are claimed: (a) Multi-Patterned Rubber Toe Strip. The rubber toe strip has four layers of bands featuring intricate and distinct patterns of three-dimensional diamonds and lines. (b) Ankle Patch on the Inside Ankle. The round patch design with double dashed line just inside the boundary of the circular patch, with a star in the center. (c) Double Rand Stripes. Two parallel horizontal lines run along the rubber outsole of the shoe. The uppermost contrasting stripe runs along the edge of the rubber outsole around the entire circumference of the shoe, including on the toe cap. The second contrasting stripe appears midway along the rubber outsole and runs from the front edge of the license plate heel tab to the back edge of the rubber toe bumper. (d) Brushed Metal Grommets in Medial Side Arch. Two round brushed steel grommets are placed in a horizontal line above the inside medial arch of the shoe. (e) Brushed Metal Eyestay Grommets. A series of equally-spaced wide, round brushed metal eyestay grommets are part of the lacing system instead of hooks, loops, D-rings, or other holding and lacing mechanisms. (f) Convex Rubber Toe Cap. A raised, protruding rubber toe cap. (g) Double Stitching and Box-Like Stitch Along the Upper. (h) Top Line Collar Throat Shape. The matter shown in broken lines, namely, the license plate heel tab as well as the outline of the shoe along the upper, the tongue, the back edge, the rear panel, and the sole are not part of the mark. The broken lines serve only to show the position or placement of the primary features of the trade dress. The dashed lines indicating the Double Stitching and Box-Like Stitch Along the Upper are part of the mark.]
  • [Description of Mark: The mark consists of the placement of a stripe of light emitting diodes going down the center of the bottom of the sole of women’s heeled shoes. The matter shown by broken lines is not part of the mark and only serves to show the position of the mark.]
  •  Owner: Vans [Description of Mark: The mark consists of The mark consists of a stylized checkerboard design positioned around the sidewall on the sole of a shoe. The design of a shoe represented by dotted lines is not part of the mark and only serves to show placement of the mark on the goods.]
  • Owner: Vans [Description of Mark: The mark consists of a three-dimensional configuration of a checkerboard pattern on the entire upper portion of a shoe. The broken lines depicting the outline of the shoe indicates placement of the mark on the goods and are not part of the mark.]
  • Owner: DC Shoes [Description of Mark: The mark is a repetitive design representing the letters “C” and “D” covering some or all of the shoe soles. It may also be described as a pill pattern, as the “C” and “D” are stylized to resemble two opposing semi-capsule forms. The pattern is not limited to a particular portion of the shoe sole and the dotted outline of a shoe is not a part of the mark.]
  • Owner: Nike [Description of Mark: The mark consists of the design of the tread on the sole a shoe. The broken lines show the position of the mark on the goods and are not claimed as a part of the mark. Color is not claimed as a feature of the mark.]

 

Also, here are two interesting pending USPTO trademark applications. Does either one create an issue for Louboutin?

  • Owner: ECOclean Corporation [Description of Mark: The mark consists of lacquered green sole on footwear.]
  • Owner: Bella Belle, LLC [Description of Mark: The mark consists of a stylized red heart design comprised of multiple circles on the sole of footwear for women. The matter shown by broken lines is not part of the mark and only serves to show the position of the mark.]

 

One Response
  1. […] Pelton’s IPelton® blog has a nice post on one example of non-traditional trademarks: shoe designs. A picture is worth many, many lawyerly […]

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