Adidas Retains Stripes After Legal Battle

Adidas can keep its stripes.

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in the German sporting goods maker’s favor on Wednesday, stating that “Adidas may oppose the registration, as a community mark, of parallel stripes placed on the side of sports shoes.”

The case dates back to 2009, when Shoe Branding Europe, a Belgian company, sought to register two parallel marks, equidistant and of the same width, placed on the outside of a sports shoe, with the Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market, EU’s trademark and designs registry.

Adidas opposed the registration, and after OHIM found that there was no similarity between its three stripes and its competitor’s two stripes, the German brand brought the case before the General Court in Luxembourg, which in May 2015 ruled in Adidas’ favor.

Shoe Branding Europe appealed the decision before the Court of Justice, which eventually upheld the General Court’s judgment.

A spokeswoman for Adidas told FN on Wednesday: “We welcome today’s decision. We are grateful the court recognized the importance of protecting our valuable trademark. We will continue to protect our trademarks and fight any unlawful behavior.”

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