Three weeks into Frozen II’s release, the latest Disney musical preparing to join the 2019 billion dollar club, alongside six other Disney movies (one of which was co-produced by Sony) and Joker. Since the movie comes right in time for the holiday season, fans will be shopping online for merchandise made to go with the movie. However, when it comes to Princess Anna’s fashion, experts say her boots could potentially face a trademark dispute with French designer, Christian Louboutin.
Louboutin is famous for its red-soled shoes – so much so that the designer holds exclusive trademark rights to the look. But, Anna’s boots in Frozen II have red soles too and they’re currently being sold on the Official Disney Store for $24.95. A professor of law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California spotted the similarity and inquired about a possible legal dispute on Twitter. Take a look:
As you can see above, on the left is the official trademark Christian Louboutin has official rights to from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. On the right is the new children’s Disney boots found paired with Anna’s outfit in Frozen II. Per World Trademark Review, a few experts weighed in and found a few reasons why Louboutin may pursue a case with Disney.
For instance, the boots share some comparisons to Louboutin boots sold on its online store for almost $900. Christian Louboutin has protected its trademarked red-soled shoes before, but this hasn’t always provided results in their favor. The exclusive trademark rights the French designer owns is for “the color red on the sole of non-red shoes.” Anna’s boots do match this description and integrate the red heel as well.
Yet the color isn’t the same red that Christian Louboutin shoes are famous for. A few intellectual property experts believe that for Disney, this detail is “sufficient to dodge the wrath of Louboutin,” as Williams Powell associate Clare Mullarkey said. Another expert, Amy Reynolds of Fieldfisher, said she would not be surprised if Louboutin issues a dispute.
Reynolds thinks the designer may be worried that boots such as Anna’s could make the signature red-sole on their own products looks “generic” or “diluted.” However, disputing with Disney publicly may reflect negatively on the brand, so if trademarks are claimed, it would likely happen behind closed doors and could lead to Anna’s boots from being pulled from sale.