On the pitch, soccer stars compete in Adidas and Puma cleats. Off the pitch, the two brands are competing in court.
Adidas America Inc. filed a suit against Puma North America Inc. on Friday in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon — Portland Division, citing trademark infringement, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices, among other claims.
The suit is over a soccer cleat Adidas stated bears “a confusingly similar imitation of Adidas’ three-stripe mark.” In the filing, Adidas stated it has used the parallel three stripes on its shoes for more than 60 years, and has been selling shoes with the mark in both the U.S. and worldwide as early as 1952.
The cleat pictured in the filing is the Puma EvoPower Vigor Camo, which retails in men’s sizing for $274.99.
In the filing, Adidas stated “the infringing cleat imitates Adidas’ three-stripe mark in a manner that is likely to cause consumer confusion and deceive the public regarding the source, sponsorship, and/or affiliation of that footwear.” The suit also explains that sales of the Puma cleat identified in the suit is “unlawful and is causing irreparable harm to Adidas’ brand.”
Adidas is seeking monetary damages, Puma’s profits from the alleged infringing cleat and a court order barring the brand from continuing to produce the cleat.
This is the latest in a slew of litigation, which includes Adidas’ attempt in August in a court in Düsseldorf, Germany, to keep Puma from selling its NRGY shoe. The Puma look features a midsole made of an innovative synthetic called expanded thermoplastic polyurethane that is similar to Adidas’ Boost.
Footwear News reached out to Puma for comment on the litigation, and will provide an update if and when it becomes available.