Here’s a court ruling that is sure to create a lot of buzz in the sneaker industry. The EU court has ruled that adidas is not allowed to trademark the three stripes next to each other because it’s „an ordinary figurative mark“.
The company from Herzogenaurach had failed to show that the trademark of three parallel stripes was distinct enough in the minds of European consumers. However, this only applies to an extended version of their signature logo. With this extension, adidas planned to file a trademark for “three parallel equidistant stripes of equal width applied to the product in whichever direction.” The original trademark protection for the slanted three-stripe logo (see right) remains of course.
In five of the EU member states, adidas had provided evidence of the „acquired distinctive character“ of the stripes. This could not be extended to the entire territory of the EU though. This latest ruling now allows for other brands to use three stripes designs without commiting a trademark violation.