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Intellectual Property Insights from Fishman Stewart PLLC
Newsletter – Volume 24, Issue 7

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Trump “Never Surrender” Sneakers: Could They Surrender To Louboutin Red Bottoms?

By Linda Monge Callaghan

President Donald Trump recently began promoting a brand-new pair of limited edition sneakers for sale bearing a T logo, American flag design, gold upper, and red sole bottom. The $399 sneakers are called the “Never Surrender High-Top” and are already sold out according to the Trump sneakers website,   

The website selling the sneakers claims not to have any political affiliation, however, Trump is publicly endorsing the product, and the shoes are branded with a T logo, presumably, as an indicator of the President’s brand. A review of the U.S. Trademark Office’s online database records did not reveal any applications or registrations for a T logo reciting clothing or footwear by the President or his companies. Although trademark rights can accrue through use, registering trademarks confers significant benefits.

The lack of a trademark registration may be the least of the intellectual property concerns surrounding the new sneakers.   

Surprisingly, the Never Surrender High-Tops bear a striking resemblance to these high-end fashion sneakers manufactured and sold by famous footwear designer Christian Louboutin.    

Louboutin’s trademark for his “red bottoms” (red-soled high-end women’s dress shoes and footwear) is registered and arguably famous.  Louboutin’s owns U.S. trademark Registration Nos. 3,361,597 and 3,376,197 for the marks below.


In the past, Louboutin has gone to great lengths and expense to enforce his rights in red soled shoes.  Louboutin brought several lawsuits against infringers in the U.S., Brazil, and India over competitor’s red-soled shoes and has been successful in maintaining the red bottoms’ brand status with customers. 

Some may question just how far Louboutin’s rights in a red soled shoe extend beyond women’s fashion shoes to other footwear as far as exclusivity. Louboutin challenging the Never Surrenders could toe that line.

Since the recent launch of Trump’s sneaker, social media has been in an uproar. The discourse is fraught with comments as to whether Louboutin has endorsed President Trump politically by allowing Trump to use Louboutin’s red sole trademark on the Never-Surrender High Tops. Other hot topics are whether Louboutin is going to sit back and let the former President arguably infringe on Louboutin’s trademark rights.    

In Trump’s case, not only do his sneakers share a red sole with Louboutin’s, but they also have a gold upper similar to Louboutin’s sneakers giving an overall similar appearance.   Thus, Louboutin may have both likelihood of confusion and dilution claims to assert against Trump due to the overall similarities between the two shoes and that the Never Surrenders would weaken and/or tarnish the distinctiveness of Louboutin’s famous trademark for his red soled shoes.  

Only time will tell whether Louboutin will take any action, but one thing is certain, if a lawsuit is filed between the two highly litigious parties, red and gold sparks will fly.   

Linda is a Partner at Fishman Stewart, specializing in intellectual property law. Linda focuses mainly on trademark and copyright law, including foreign and domestic prosecution and litigation, as well as agreements and assignments. Check out her full bio here.

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