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Louboutin v. YSL (2d Cir.) (1-3-12 Law Professor Amicus Brief)

Louboutin v. YSL (2d Cir.) (1-3-12 Law Professor Amicus Brief)

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Published by: Charles Colman Law, PLLC on Jan 24, 2012
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11/17/2012

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11-3303-cv
United States Court of Appeals
 for the
Second Circuit
CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN S.A., CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN, L.L.C.,CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN,
 Plaintiffs-Counter-Defendants-Appellants,
 – v. – YVES SAINT LAURENT AMERICA HOLDING, INC., YVES SAINTLAURENT S.A.S., YVES SAINT LAURENT AMERICA, INC.,
 Defendants-Counter-Claimants-Appellees,
YVES SAINT LAURENT, (an unincorporated association), JOHN DOES,A to Z, (Unidentified), JANE DOES, A to Z, (Unidentified),XYZ COMPANIES, 1 to 10, (Unidentified),
 Defendants-Appellees.
 _______________________________ ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK 
BRIEF OF
 AMICUS CURIAE 
LAW PROFESSORS INSUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS-COUNTER-CLAIMANTS-APPELLEES AND URGING AFFIRMANCE
EBECCA
T
USHNET
 P
ROFESSOR OF
L
AW
 G
EORGETOWN
U
 NIVERSITY
L
AW
C
ENTER 
 600 New Jersey Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20001(703) 593-6759
Counsel for Amicus Curiae
Case: 11-3303 Document: 92 Page: 1 01/03/2012 487000 37
 
i
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES .......................................................................................................... ii
 
INTEREST OF AMICI CURIAE ................................................................................................... 1
 
SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT ...................................................................................................... 1
 
ARGUMENT .................................................................................................................................. 2
 
I. AESTHETIC FUNCTIONALITY IS PART OF THE GOVERNING LAW IN ORDER TOPROMOTE COMPETITION AND AVOID CONFLICT WITH DESIGN PATENTLAW………………………………………..…………………………………………………….2II. THE DISTRICT COURT WAS CORRECT TO CONSIDER FUNCTIONALITY INCONTEXT…………………………………………………………………………..……………9A. Single-Color Claims in Fashion Markets Are Inherently Suspect……………………….….10B. A Feature May Be Functional for Particular Uses, Even When Nonfunctional in Other Instances…………………………………………………………………………………………21CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................................. 28
 
Case: 11-3303 Document: 92 Page: 2 01/03/2012 487000 37
 
ii
TABLE OF AUTHORITIESCases
 
 Au-Tomotive Gold Inc. v. Volkswagen of America, Inc.
,457 F.3d 1062 (9th Cir. 2006) ……………..………………………….11
 Brunswick Corp. v. British Seagull Ltd.
,35 F.3d 1527, 1531 (Fed. Cir. 1994) …………………………………..11
Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent America, Inc.
,778 F. Supp. 2d 445 (S.D.N.Y. 2011) ……..…10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 25, 26
 Dippin’ Dots, Inc. v. Frosty Bites Distribution, LLC 
,369 F.3d 1197 (11th Cir. 2004) …………………….……………………..13
 Jay Franco & Sons Inc. v. Franck 
,615 F.3d 855, 860 (7th Cir. 2010) ……………………….………………..12
 Kellogg Co. v. National Biscuit Co.
,305 U.S. 111 (1938) …………………………………….…………………28
 In re Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp.
,774 F.2d 1116 (Fed. Cir. 1985) ………………………..….………………15
 Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Prods. Co.
,514 U.S. 159, 165 (1995) …………………………………….3, 8, 9, 10, 11
 Rogers v. Grimaldi
,
 
875 F.2d 994 (2d Cir. 1989) ………………………………………………17
 Rogers v. Keene
,778 F.2d 334 (7th Cir.1985) ………….……………………………..………3
Two Pesos, Inc. v. Taco Cabana, Inc.
,505 U.S. 763 (1992) …………………………………..………..……….8, 18
 Traffix Devices v. Mktg. Displays, Inc.
,532 U.S. 26 (2001)……………………………………………………3, 8, 18
Case: 11-3303 Document: 92 Page: 3 01/03/2012 487000 37

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