Thom Browne wins the legal battle against Adidas over stripes trademark infringement


On Thursday, a Manhattan jury decided that Adidas AG had failed to prove that the use of stripes on clothes by luxury brand Thom Browne Inc. infringed the sportswear giant's unique three-stripe trademark.

The trial, which started on January 3, was concluded by the jury's finding that the fashion house's parallel stripe patterns were not likely to lead consumers to confuse them with Adidas' merchandise. Among other things, Thom Browne claimed that the designs had a different number of stripes.

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Adidas was dissatisfied with the verdict, but the firm would continue to vigilantly protect our intellectual property, including submitting any relevant appeals, a spokesman for the brand stated in an email.

In 2021, Adidas filed a lawsuit against Thom Browne's brand, alleging that Thom Browne's four-bar and "Grosgrain" stripe designs on its shoes and luxury sportswear infringed on Adidas' three-stripe trademark rights. According to court records in the case, the brand has filed over 90 lawsuits and entered over 200 settlement agreements in reference to the trademark since 2008. Originally using a three-bar pattern on its apparel, Thom Browne switched to a four-stripe pattern in 2007 after Adidas objected.

Because they operate in different markets, serve different consumers, and provide their products at starkly different price points, according to Thom Browne, there is unlikely to be any confusion between the designs of the two brands. Additionally, it mentioned stripes as a common design pattern.

Adidas was 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 was also asking for an extra $7 million, which the company claims are equal to the money Thom Browne made from selling its striped clothing.

(Source – Business Insider India)