- - Monday, April 30, 2012

Bruce Springsteen closed out the first weekend of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival with a 2 1/2-hour show that combined crowd-pleasers such as “Born to Run” with the cover tune of his new CD, “Wrecking Ball.”

Fans began staking out spots when the fairgrounds opened at 11 a.m. Sunday, rushing from the entrance gates to spread blankets and set up chairs close to the stage. By the time Mr. Springsteen stepped on stage fans were stretched around the fairgrounds track, some standing 10 to 12 people deep.

At one point, New Orleans blues legend Dr. John took the stage with Mr. Springsteen, joining him on “Something You Got.”

Designer Louboutin defends suit over distinctive red soles

Would a red-soled stiletto by any other name than Christian Louboutin look as sweet? Certainly not for the luxury French shoe designer, who passionately defended his court battle to protect his famous glossy red-soled shoes Monday.

In this April 29, 2012 photo provided by Opera News, director Peter Sellars is honored at the Opera News Awards in New York, where he won a special award along with four of the world's best singers. Sellars told the guests at he "took the starch out of the Bugs Bunny version of opera" - with productions like the wrenching story of how the nuclear bomb was created in composer John Adams' Grammy award-winning "Doctor Atomic." (AP Photo/Opera News, Dario Acosta)
In this April 29, 2012 photo provided by Opera News, director Peter ... more >

Mr. Louboutin was in London to open a museum exhibition marking his brand’s 20th anniversary, talking to reporters about his inspirations and his rise to global success. But he also hit out at fellow French fashion house Yves Saint Laurent and its parent company PPR, whom he is suing for trademark infringement in a U.S. federal appeals court. A panel of judges has yet to issue a decision.

“What PPR does via Yves Saint Laurent is breaking my trademark, which I find incredibly offensive,” Mr. Louboutin told the Associated Press.

Mr. Louboutin’s lawyers have compared his shoe trademark to a similar one held by Tiffany & Co. for blue boxes — sparking a wider debate on whether a designer can own a color.

The 49-year-old designer, dressed in a red tweed jacket, jeans and steel-toed leather shoes he designed, argued that his rivals are wrong to accuse him of trying to monopolize the color red.

“I do not own a color. I own a specific color in a specific place,” he said of his shoes’ distinctive soles.

A lower U.S. court had rejected a request by Mr. Louboutin to stop the sale of YSL shoes that are red all over, including the soles.

Mr. Louboutin’s shoes are among the world’s most recognizable fashion items, and have been worn by celebrities from Angelina Jolie to French first lady Carla Bruni.

‘Three Cups of Tea’ lawsuit tossed out by federal judge

A federal judge on Monday dismissed claims of fraud and racketeering against “Three Cups of Tea” author Greg Mortenson as “imprecise, flimsy and speculative.”

U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon rejected the civil lawsuit filed by four people who bought Mr. Mortenson’s books.

Story Continues →