Adidas loses three stripes trademark ruling

Adidas loses three stripes trademark ruling

Adidas’s three-stripe logo has been ruled invalid as a trademark after an EU court ruled it was not distinctive enough across the 28-member bloc.

The General Court of the European Union ruled that the three parallel stripes are “an ordinary figurative mark”.

In doing so, the court upheld a 2016 ruling by the EU’s intellectual property regulator cancelling the registration of the three-stripe design as a trademark following a challenge by a Belgian shoe company.

The court said in a statement: “The General Court of the EU confirms the invalidity of the Adidas EU trade mark which consists of three parallel stripes applied in any direction.

“The mark is not a pattern mark composed of a series of regularly repetitive elements, but an ordinary figurative mark.”

It said Adidas had not proved the motif had acquired a “distinctive character” throughout the 28 countries of the bloc that would qualify for legal protection.

Adidas has the option of appealing the decision.

The ruling is the latest round in a long legal tussle between Adidas and Belgian rival Shoe Branding Europe, which won trademark status for a two-stripe design, triggering court action from the German firm.

Shireen Peermohamed, a partner in the intellectual property team at law firm Harbottle & Lewis, said: “The General Court’s decision emphasises the rigour that is needed when it comes to proving that a mark like this has acquired the necessary degree of recognition as a brand belonging to a particular company.

“The decision is not surprising. If a brand owner cannot demonstrate use of a trademark throughout the EU then their trademark could be cancelled down the line, or, as here, never registered in the first place.

“Brand owners should review their EU trademarks, and particularly the more unusual pattern, position, shape and figurative ones, to make sure their scope is clear and that they are using them in the form registered.”

- Press Association

More on this topic

EU probing Amazon over use of retailers’ data to gain edgeEU probing Amazon over use of retailers’ data to gain edge

EU's Vestager set ‘to start Amazon competition probe’ as Ursula von der Leyen talks about US tech firms paying taxEU's Vestager set ‘to start Amazon competition probe’ as Ursula von der Leyen talks about US tech firms paying tax

Kelly: European Commission candidate should 'not interfere' with Phil Hogan's re-appointment Kelly: European Commission candidate should 'not interfere' with Phil Hogan's re-appointment

Hogan to be nominated for second term as EU commissionerHogan to be nominated for second term as EU commissioner

More in this Section

Performance of Irish bank shares to face heavy scrutiny in coming weeksPerformance of Irish bank shares to face heavy scrutiny in coming weeks

Brosnan bloodstock posts loss of €2m due to heavy cost provisions Brosnan bloodstock posts loss of €2m due to heavy cost provisions

Liberty London sold to new owners in €334m dealLiberty London sold to new owners in €334m deal

Supermarkets cash in as TV and jewellery shops fail to shine in early summer sales, says major surveySupermarkets cash in as TV and jewellery shops fail to shine in early summer sales, says major survey


Lifestyle

Celebrate the anniversary by finding lift off without even leaving the earth, at these stateside visitor centres and museums, says Sarah Marshall.America’s top space-age attractions to celebrate 50 years since the moon landing

For bookworms and classic movie buffs, the notion of a London park will forever conjure up images of Mary Poppins with the Banks children in tow.Inside/ Out: Park life is looking up in London by Eve Kelliher

“Does anyone want to be my friend?” roared my five year old as he walked into the playground at our French campsite on holidays.Learner Dad: 'It can be heartbreaking watching your kids try make friends on holiday'

These handy product edits are so useful for travelling, says Katie Wright.Palettes pack a punch: The travel must have

More From The Irish Examiner