Adidas sues designer label Thom Browne over replicating the stripe-like identity


German sportswear brand Adidas filed suit against the high-end fashion designer Thom Browne in June 2021. The court case began on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. The trial is intended to examine if the luxury brand infringes on Adidas' trademark for three parallel stripes on clothes, which the sports giant has been using since the 1940s.

The label Thom Browne, established in 2003, is best known for its sporty, neatly fitted suits for men and women. Sets of four parallel stripes are extensively used by the company on everything from puffer jackets to socks.

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Browne himself on Tuesday appeared in Manhattan's Southern District Court wearing high socks, one of which was striped, and the trademark shorts suit from his company.

In court on Tuesday, lawyers for Adidas and Thom Browne both claimed that the fashion house had previously included three stripes in its designs. But in order to avoid a legal dispute, Thom Browne decided to add a fourth stripe in 2007 once Adidas learned how the label was exploiting stripes.

Adidas is demanding $867,225 in compensation, which it claims is the sum Thom Browne would have paid if the two businesses had entered into a license arrangement. According to WWD, Adidas is also asking for an extra $7 million, which the company claims are equal to the money Thom Browne made from selling its striped clothing.

Since launching its first store in Manhattan over two decades ago, Thom Browne has expanded into a preppy powerhouse that clothes celebrities like NBA player LeBron James and supermodel Gigi Hadid. Initially, the brand only offered five made-to-measure suits.

(Source – Business Insider India)