adidas AG and adidas Canada Limited have filed a law suit in the Federal Court of Canada against Payless ShoeSource. The law suit claims, in part, that certain footwear sold by Payless infringes upon adidas' rights in its Three-Stripes Mark. Internationally, adidas has vigorously sought to protect its rights in the famous Three-Stripes Mark and this Canadian law suit marks another step in adidas' continued international efforts to protect its brand symbol.
Internationally, similar legal disputes between adidas and Payless have been ongoing for some time now. After almost 7-years of litigation between adidas and Payless in the U.S., the case proceeded to trial last April. In that case, the jury reached a unanimous verdict last May finding that, for 267 styles of shoes, Payless had willfully infringed upon the rights of adidas with respect to the Three-Stripes Mark and/or the Superstar trade dress. The District Court further confirmed the jury's findings of infringement. While the U.S. litigation is now on appeal, adidas is confident that the Judgment entered in the U.S. District Court will be upheld.
While adidas would have preferred to resolve the dispute in Canada without the need for litigation, it has been unable to do so, and adidas has now filed this law suit to protect its rights in Canada.