The distinctive red soles of Christian Louboutin shoes are entitled to trademark protection, a federal appeals court said yesterday.

The Court of Appeals in Manhattan reversed a lower court ruling against the French maker of luxury shoes worn by stars such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Scarlett Johansson and Halle Berry.

The appeals court said Louboutin was entitled to protect its brand against red-soled shoes made by competitor Yves Saint Laurent S.A.S., which is also based in Paris. In 2008, the trademark office granted protection to Louboutin, which has applied glossy vivid red to the outsoles of women's shoes since 1992. The shoes sell for up to $1,000 (£630) a pair.

The judge who ruled in August 2011 that a single colour can never serve as a trademark in the fashion industry went too far, the appeals court said. AP