Adidas three-stripe trademark declared invalid by EU court

Adidas three-stripe trademark declared invalid by EU court

On Wednesday, sporting brand Adidas’s three-stripe trademark was declared invalid by the European Union’s second highest court. The court said that the trademark of Adidas lacked a distinctive character.

According to Reuters, the General Court of the European Union said it upheld a decision of the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in 2016 to annul a previous decision to accept the mark.

As per the reports, in 2014, while registering the trademark for clothing, footwear and headgear, Adidas said that the trademark consisted of “three parallel equidistant stripes of equal width applied to the product in whichever direction.”

However, Adidas has been in a decade-long dispute with Belgian company Shoe Branding Europe, who challenged their trademark.

Last year, an EU court rendered Shoe Branding’s two-stripe trademark invalid, saying the stripes were too similar to the trademark of Adidas.

In order to distinguish the products of Adidas from another company’s product, the German sports goods company needed to show the mark had acquired a “distinctive character” throughout the European Union based on its use.

The report further revealed that the court said the mark was an “ordinary figurative mark” and not a distinctive pattern and it was not relevant to take into account specific uses involving colors. It also said Adidas had provided evidence related to the mark’s use in five EU countries but not throughout the bloc.

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