I guess the shoe business is not for the feint hearted. In New York earlier this week, legendary French shoe company Christian Louboutin squared off against equally famous rival Yves St. Laurent in a Manhattan court room. The reason? Christian Louboutin claims that only their label can use the "Chinese red" shade as a color for the bottom of its shoes.

This particular shade was trademarked by the company 20 years ago and they claim it has not undermined competition. Turns out that Yves St. Laurent does not see it this way and has been replicating Louboutin's approach. Whist Louboutin managed to obtain a preliminary injunction forbidding Yves St. Laurent from distributing a high-heel shoe with top and bottom in "Chinese red", this was overturned by a Federal judge.

So its back to the courts, with lawyers suitably attired in their clients' stunning footwear.

My own view is that intellectual property protection is valid and important, in the shoe industry as much as any other. Not giving suitable protection with restrict creativity and flair in the longer term. The question, as always, is where do you draw the line.

We'll have to wait and see what the courts decide.