April 2018. Birkenstocks – who hasn’t got a pair in the clothes cupboard? – is about to lose its Benelux trademark protection for the pattern on the sole of its orthopaedic footwear after rival shoe company Footsie successfully had it revoked by the District Court in The Hague.

Ties in with EU jurisprudence

The ruling ties in with EU jurisprudence, which now virtually prohibits trademark protection for common shapes such as the bone-like pattern on the underside of a shoe.