In other adidas news, the company has reportedly filed suit against U.S. Polo Association in the U.S. District Court in Portland for trademark infringement. The suit claims that a USPA shoe is a copy of the adidas Superstar product, but with one less stripe. The “three-stripe mark is well-known and famous,” the suit claims.
“The gist of it is that adidas believes that the stripe configuration on that shoe is confusingly similar to adidas' federally registered, incontestable three-stripe mark,” said Stephen Feldman, an adidas attorney, in one report. “Basically, they've just copied the adidas shoe and removed a stripe.”
Well see if adidas prevails in the U.S. on this one. The company lost a similar suit in Europe in October after the European Court of Justice ruled that a two-stripe design, common on sporting goods throughout the EU, does not constitute trademark infringement. The case was brought by adidas against Fitnessworld Trading in Dutch courts five years ago.
In the final ruling, the ECJ judges stated, “The proprietor of a trademark with a reputation cannot prevent the use of a similar sign viewed purely as a decorative motif.” Advocate General Francis Jacobs had previously ruled that the two-stripe design was a “simple decorative embellishment” for the Dutch public and could not be considered a trademark.