Article written by Catherine Mateu, lawyer at Armengaud & Guerlain and published in ITWA’s bulletin of november 2011.
The red sole shoe saga, or the Louboutin cases, which will soon be accessible in INTA’s Trade Dress Image Library (TDIL), is an illustration of how trade dress law raises similar issues around the world. When it comes to trade dress, however, IP practitioners often are reluctant to have a first opinion or first thoughts on trade dress, as it involves many IP rights (explained in INTA’s online resource Trade Dress: International Practice and Procedures) and has enormous cultural implications, particularly in assessments of distinctiveness, likelihood of confusion and functionality.
First thoughts on clearing or giving advice about trade dress can come from the TDIL. This resource is accessible by INTA members only, either from the Topic Portal page on Trade Dress or from the Global Trademark Research page. The TDIL comprises a database of summaries of trade dress cases, with images of the goods of the plaintiff and defendant in each case.
(See, for example, QB Net Co Ltd v. Earnson Management (S) Pte Ltd & Others, a Singapore case concerning a hair salon, pictured). Research can be performed based on product description, jurisdiction, key concept, case name, plaintiff’s name or defendant’s name. The results will show a list of cases with links to case summaries, corresponding images and the name of the firm that provided the summary and images.
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