Judge Cuts Award in Adidas-Payless Suit

NEW YORK — A U.S. district judge reduced by more than 75 percent a jury’s award to Adidas AG in a trademark infringement case against Collective Brands Inc.’s Payless ShoeSource unit.

On Friday, an Oregon district judge reduced Adidas’ trademark infringement award to $65.3 million from an earlier judgment of $305 million, saying there was “no evidence” that Adidas lost any sales because of the infringement and the “ratio between compensatory and punitive damages was too high.” The judge also denied Payless’ request for a new trial.

In a written statement, Collective CEO Matthew Rubel said that while Payless believes the resulting judgment remains excessive, “we are pleased the court has recognized that the jury award was unsupportable and excessive and has reduced the amount to a more reasonable level.”

He added, “After taking time to review this decision, we will move forward with our approach to appeal what we still believe to be an incorrect decision.”

Meanwhile, Adidas’ attorney, Charles Henn, said the ruling “affirms the jury’s finding that Payless’ two- and four-stripe shoes infringe and dilute its three-stripe trademark, and that Payless’ infringement was willful.”

In a written statement released Monday, Adidas also called the award “very substantial” and said it is still reportedly the “highest award made by a court in a U.S. trademark case.”

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