Friday, May 20, 2016

Oh, patents! Louboutin’s removable heels

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Not all of Louboutin’s patents are design patents. Louboutin was also awarded a French utility patent for a shoe mechanism enabling to exchange heels. The French utility patent FR2613598 , granted in 1989 and titled Système de fixation pour talons amovibles (Mounting system for removable heels) thus recites a system enabling the person wearing the shoes to effortlessly and swiftly change heels, without the use of any extra tools such as a screwdriver or wrench. FR2613598 further states that the system might be actuated with a single hand, even a single finger!

Other advantages recited include being able to change heels when they have worn out, or being able to change heels according to outfit and function. Indeed, as long as the heels are the same height, they can be fashioned out of different materials, or of different widths, to accommodate both daytime and evening wear. Thus, the multiple heel shoe can become much more versatile.

The mounting system (illustrated below) comprises male and female parts that come together and are further connected with a push-button locking mechanism located in the heel portion.

The French abstract for FR2613598 titled Système de fixation pour talons amovibles is included below as well as a patent drawing of the mechanism. 

Système de fixation pour talons amovibles caractérisé en ce qu'il est constitué d'une partie male 1 fixée sous la tige, à l'endroit où le talon vient s'incorporer. Cette partie saillante est destinée à venir se loger dans un évidement borgne 2 prévu à cet effet dans la partie supérieure du talon. La partie saillante est munie radialement d'un ergot ou téton 11 qui, poussé par un élément élastique 8, viendra se loger dans un évidement 13 prévu a cet effet dans la partie femelle pour que le système soit solidement bloqué. Des moyens de déverrouillage par bouton 16 et d'orientation 3 sont en outre prévus.
Figure 1 - FR2613598

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