A letter sent by the International Olympic Committee to the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry reflects a decision by the IOC that company logos on an area larger than 20 square centimeters would not be allowed on apparel at the Olympic Games, a change in position that will affect adidas for the 2006 games in Turin, Italy.
Nike, Inc. and Puma have both been pressing the IOC to rule on the matter in an effort to limit adidas brand exposure, which often results in a three-stripe treatment running the full length of a sleeve or pant leg, while they are forced to comply with the smaller 20 cm chest and leg logos. At the same time, adidas has taken Nike, Inc. and others to court over the use of stripes on footwear and apparel, claiming that it infringes on their design.
Nike, Inc. last month filed suit against adidas America, Inc. and parent adidas-Salomon AG in a preemptive strike to force a U.S. court to rule on the use of stripes on apparel before adidas takes the initiative here.
adidas has not filed suit against Nike for any such infringement in the U.S., but a German court in January ordered Nike, Inc. to stop selling pants with two stripes in adidas home country, ruling that the product could be confused with the latters three-stripe product. The court said that by selling two types of sports pants with double stripes on the side, Nike had infringed on the marketing rights of adidas, known as the company whose clothing has three stripes. Nike said it plans to appeal that decision.
A similar action is currently awaiting a decision in a court in the Netherlands.
>>> Two weeks ago SEW questioned what the implications would be if adidas exposure is reduced to a small logo Were about to find out