Adidas May Defend its Three Stripes Design, Says EU Court

A European court said that Adidas may oppose the registration of two parallel stripes on shoes as an EU trademark.

A European court said that German sporting goods maker Adidas may oppose the registration of two parallel stripes on shoes as an EU trademark, affirming earlier decisions by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

Adidas had opposed Belgian company Shoe Branding Europe’s application for two EU trademarks for two parallel stripes on shoes as it was too similar to its own iconic three-stripe design.

The EUIPO refused registration in separate decisions in 2015 and 2016. The Luxembourg-based General Court, Europe’s second-highest, on Thursday affirmed the EUIPO’s decisions, saying that the design Shoe Branding had proposed would take unfair advantage of Adidas’ reputation and that it had not demonstrated due cause for its use.

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