Adidas loses court battle against fashion designer Thom Browne over stripes

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Mon, 16th Jan 2023) London, Uk – –

Adidas sued Thom Browne after claiming the designer's four-bar and “Grosgrain” stripe patterns on its shoes and high-end activewear violated the sportswear giant's three-stripe trademark rights.

Adidas has lost a court case against New York fashion designer Thom Browne after suing over a stripe design.

A jury in Manhattan said Adidas had failed to show Thom Browne had infringed the sportswear giant's signature three-stripe trademark.


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The jury found the fashion house's parallel stripe designs were not likely to cause consumer confusion with Adidas's products.

Thom Browne had argued that, among other things, its designs have a different number of stripes and stripes are a common design element for clothing.

The designer's sportswear features four parallel stripes wrapping around the arm or leg of shorts and sweatshirts.

Adidas sued the brand in 2021, claiming its four-bar and “Grosgrain” stripe patterns on its shoes and high-end activewear violated its three-stripe trademark rights.

The German company has filed more than 90 lawsuits and signed more than 200 settlement agreements since 2008 related to the trademark, according to court documents in the case.

Thom Browne previously used a three-bar design on its clothing, changing it to the four-stripe design after Adidas objected in 2007.

An Adidas spokesperson said the company was disappointed with the jury's decision but will “continue to vigilantly enforce our intellectual property, including filing any appropriate appeals”.

A spokesperson for Thom Browne Inc said the company was pleased with the verdict.


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The fashion house said confusion between the companies' designs was unlikely because they “operate in different markets, serving different customers, and offer their products at strikingly different price points”.

Adidas had planned to ask the jury for more than $7.8m in damages, plus additional punitive damages and a cut of Thom Browne's infringing sales, according to a court filing.

It also requested a court order stopping Thom Browne from using the designs.