The case at hand related to a trademark infringement suit which had been filed by the French shoe-making company Christian Louboutin, the company started its operations in the year 1991 in Paris, one of the most well-known ranges of shoes of the plaintiff “RED SOLE”. The products of the plaintiff company have been endorsed by many celebrities and have also been featured on many well-known TV series and films like ‘Sex and the City Part-I & II’, ‘Devil Wears Prada’ and ‘The Proposal’. It had been contended by the plaintiff company that their range of shoes has acquired an enormous reputation and goodwill all over the world.
The present suit had been filed by the plaintiff after being aggrieved by the passing of committed by the defendant, the defendant had been manufacturing identical shoes resembling the range of shoes offered by the plaintiff company. The ‘RED SOLE’ mark of the plaintiff company had already procured the tag of being a well-known mark under Section 11(6) of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the case of Christian Louboutin SAS v. Mr Pawan Kumar,.
To affirm the reputation and the goodwill which the plaintiff company had garnered over the years, the Court took ChatGPT’s help. The Query which was asked was, “Is Christian Louboutin known for spiked mens shoes?”
To which the AI platform replied, “Yes, Christian Louboutin is known for their iconic red-soled shoes, including spiked styles for both men and women. The brand’s Spike adorned Footwear has become quite popular and it is often associated with their unique and edgy designs.”
The court however was hesitant upon recognizing the plaintiff’s sole monopoly over the range of spiked shoes or coloured shoes, in order for the court to grant an injunction, it should be fully satisfied that the impugned products are colorable or malafide copies of the plaintiff’s products. For this purpose, counter questions were posed to ChatGPT. The query which was asked was, “Is there any brand known for manufacturing & selling shoes with spikes and studs on the outer body?”
The platform answered, “Yes, there are several brands known for manufacturing and selling shoes with spikes and studs on the outer body. One of the most well-known brands in this category is Christian Louboutin. They are particularly famous for their high and luxury shoes with red lacquered soles and often Incorporated spikes and stars in their designs. Another brand is Jeffrey Campbell which offers a range of unique and edgy footwear styles including shoes with spikes and studs. Demonia is another brand that specializes in alternative and Gothic Footwear often featuring spikes and starts as part of their design elements. Keep in mind that fashion trends and brands can change over time so it’s a good idea to search online or visit fashion retailers to find the most current options for shoes with spikes and studs.”
To clear this position, a further query was placed before the AI platform to give a list of brands that make shoes with spikes and studs on the outer body of the shoes. To which the platform replied with a name of certain brands like those of Christian Louboutin, Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Jeffrey Campbell, Ash, Sam Edelman, Steve Madden, Giuseppe Zanotti, Demonia, Iron Fist.
The court finally observed that:
“The above responses from ChatGPT as also the one relied upon by the Plaintiffs shows that the said tool cannot be the basis of adjudication of legal or factual issues in a court of law. The response of a Large Language Model (LLM) based chatbot such as ChatGPT, which is sought to be relied upon by ld. Counsel for the Plaintiff depends upon a host of factors including the nature and structure of the query put by the user, the training data etc. Further, there are possibilities of incorrect responses, fictional case laws, imaginative data etc. generated by AI chatbots. The accuracy and reliability of AI-generated data are still in the grey area. There is no doubt in the mind of the Court that, at the present stage of technological development, AI cannot substitute either human intelligence or the humane element in the adjudicatory process. At best the tool could be utilised for a preliminary understanding or preliminary research and nothing more.”
The court ruled in favour of the plaintiff company and observed that the products of the defendant company were a sole attempt to make undue gains in the garb of the reputation and goodwill of the plaintiff company. Hence, the defendant company was asked to pay compensation to the plaintiff company for the losses which had been incurred.
AI platforms should not be relied upon to decide issues in a legal case because they are not yet capable of making complex legal decisions in the same way that a human judge can. AI platforms are still under development and are prone to bias, which could lead to unfair decisions. Additionally, AI platforms are often trained on large datasets of data, which can be expensive to develop and maintain. As a result, they could be inaccessible to some people.
In addition to these technical challenges, there are also ethical concerns about using AI in the legal system. For example, some people worry that AI could be used to automate decisions that should be made by humans, or that it could be used to create unfair or discriminatory outcomes.
 Christian Louboutin Sas & Anr. V. M/S The Shoe Boutique – Shutiq, CS(COMM) 583/2023
 CS(COMM) 714/2016
This article is written and submitted by Devam Krishnan during his course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Devam is a B.A. LLB 4th year student at National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi.