Sellers of goods often will add a design element to their product and claim no competitor can copy its design, asserting it will violate trademark rights because the design element has become associated with the seller in the minds of consumers. In other words, the design element functions as a trademark. Take, for example, the solid red sole of the Christian Louboutin shoe.
Recently, LVL XIII, a seller of popular sneakers featuring a rectangular metal plate design on the toe, sued Louis Vuitton for using a similar metal toe plate design on its shoes. Continue reading