The team is joined by GuestKats Mirko Brüß, Rosie Burbidge, Nedim Malovic, Frantzeska Papadopolou, Mathilde Pavis, and Eibhlin Vardy
InternKats: Rose Hughes, Ieva Giedrimaite, and Cecilia Sbrolli
SpecialKats: Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo (TechieKat), Hayleigh Bosher (Book Review Editor), and Tian Lu (Asia Correspondent).

Thursday, 27 January 2005


The Seattle Post reports that adidas has won a trade mark suit against Nike in Dusseldorf. The use by Nike and another manufacturer of two parallel stripes along the seam of trousers and jackets. This is the latest in a long line of litigation against big companies such as Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie and Fitch brought by adidas. "Really for us, this is business as usual - it may be Nike one day and another company another day," said an adidas spokesman.

The IPKat says that this just goes to show that big trade mark owners can be defendants in trade mark cases just as easily as they can be claimants. Merpel adds that it’s not clear whether adidas won on confusion-based infringement or dilution grounds – any help that the IPKat’s readers can give in clarifying this point would be appreciated.

More shocking examples of stripe-related trade mark infringement here and here
Find out what the IPKat did in celebration of this exciting new case here


Anonymous said...


I read about this in Handakte WebLAWg a couple of days ago, and there's an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung online.

The two defendants were Nike and Tom Tailor (Hamburg) - they both said the stripes were just decoration. The court found that they were a protected picture mark. The court was the Landgericht, which is a court of first instance for more serious matters, but it referred to similar decisions of the Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice) and the Munich Oberlandesgericht (a court of appeal).
(But apparently adidas lost twice at the European Court of Justice, once against Fitnessworld Training in the Netherlands and once against Marca Mode, presumably in Germany).

adidas won this case on the basis that its picture mark was protected. I don't know if that answers your question - is this confusion-based infringement?


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