A shoe designer’s claim to sole possession of the colour red is booted out of court

August 16, 2011

A bloke called Bill raised a good question here a day or so ago: if Nike can use Maori designs then why shouldn’t it be okay for anyone to use the Nike tick?

Fair enough.

Maybe we should put the matter to the test and find out.

Obviously there are limits to what a company can claim.

A judge in Manhattan has just declined a request by Paris-based Christian Louboutin for a preliminary injunction against Yves Saint Laurent for reproducing Louboutin’s trademarked red sole.

Judge Victor Marrero, of Federal District Court in Manhattan, ruled that the trademark Louboutin obtained for its “lacquered red soles” — on shoes that can sell for more than $US1,000 a pair — was “overly broad” and most likely not protectable.

The US Patent and Trademark Office had awarded Louboutin a registered trademark for the red soles in 2008.

Good grief.

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Now it’s Nike’s turn to feel the heat as Willie Jackson goes hostile over Maori designs

August 14, 2011

Is this really a rose?

Or is it a brain (perhaps the brain of a socialist because of its left-side emphasis?)

Buggers like Willie Jackson – you would think – have plenty to fuel their chronic urge to be combative without having to go looking for more.

But nah.  He has has gone all hostile because sportswear giant Nike has produced a new range of shirts for England fans at the Rugby World Cup.

His concern is about Maori branding.

The shirt – which comes in black and white – features a large English rose, with Maori-style designs across the chest.

You might think Willie would be chuffed that England supporters will be wearing jerseys with a touch of Maori in them.

But his dander is up, the SST tells us today.

Broadcaster Willie Jackson described the shirt – marketed as “England Maori tournament rugby” for sales on UK websites – as a sign of “arrogance”.

“I’m bewildered by how cocky these people are, how arrogant,” Jackson told the Sunday Star-Times.

“They think they can do anything because what are those little Maori going to do? And here is the sad thing, it is the reality… there is not much we can do. But I am constantly surprised that they just think they can just take slices of our culture as it suits them.”

The SST reminds us that Nike is already copping flak for its choice of black as the English team’s alternative playing strip.

Oh dear. The jersey business is apt to attract heated criticism.

Adidas is in big trouble in this country over the price it is charging for All Black jerseys, although buying these jerseys is not compulsory and if Alf couldn’t afford one, he simply would go without.

As it happens, he reckons the only people entitled to wear All Black jerseys are All Blacks.

But let’s get back to Jackson. He said he was “sickened” that overseas companies continued to cash in on Maori designs.

He must have a delicate tummy.

Someone sticking Pakeha designs on jerseys without the permission of Pakeha would not sicken Alf, or in any other way get him excited. Life is too short to fret about trivia.

Jackson goes on to say Maori aren’t the only indigenous culture to be used by corporate giants.

This had happened to cultures “right around the world for years”.

“They use our image and name as it suits them,” he said.

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