Does Adidas own stripes?

Recently, Adidas commenced proceedings against Thome Browne, claiming that Thom Browne’s use of four stripes in his clothing designs was highly similar to the claimant’s trademarked logo which consisted of three stripes. Adidas argued that Mr Browne’s use of a similar design was calculated and was done with the intention to cause confusion and to increase consumer attention to Browne’s designs.

In response, Browne’s attorney starkly argued that ‘Adidas does not own stripes’. While Mr Browne’s consumers consisted of celebrity clientele and offered high-end fashion products to the public, in contrast Adidas was merely an affordable sports brand evidenced by its price range of products and therefore it was available for purchase to all consumers regardless of economic background. Concluding that the two parties cannot ought to be considered as competitors.

Additionally, Mr Browne’s attorney did not stop there. He argued that Adidas and Mr Browne came to an agreement in 2007, by which Adidas allowed Mr Browne to continue with his use of the four striped logo. Ultimately, insinuating that it was too late for Adidas to bring a claim.

Even though Adidas’s three striped logo dates back decades, their arguments were rejected. Thom Browne walked away from court claiming his victory!

If you would like to discuss protection of your brand, please get in touch with the Trademarkroom team today.

By Beyza Karakaya

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