As reported by The Fashion Law, adidas is suing Thom Browne for infringing on its iconic “Three Stripes” trademark in the case adidas America, Inc. et al v. Thom Browne, Inc., and alleges the American fashion label “is likely to cause consumer confusion and deceive the public regarding its source.” The German sportswear corporation has been using the well-known trademark for at least a half-century.
Most notably, adidas is taking issues with Browne’s “two- and four-stripe” motifs for its footwear, shorts, shirts, and other apparel. In fact, this past December, adidas filed an opposition with USPTO’s Appeal Board to prevent Thom Browne from going forward with an application for its own three-stripe pattern; Thom Browne’s variant was going to employ red, white, and blue instead of adidas’ classic two-tone pattern of “white/non-white” colors.
The dispute between the two brands actually started a few years earlier, in 2018, when adidas caught wind of Thom Browne filing for a similar trademark in the European Union. adidas says it reached out to mediate a deal as recently as November 2020, but talks went nowhere.
However, Thom Browne is not in full agreement with the version of the story that is currently getting press. In an exclusive statement to WWD, Thom Browne CEO Rodrigo Bazan claims adidas originally gave his company the green light to use altered versions of the Three Stripes design since 2009. However, he says adidas is reneging on its position and that adidas has no legitimate case.
“[T]here have been continuing discussions to resolve the matter amicably, but adidas, without warning, walked away and filed this litigation,” a Thom Brown rep said. “On review it seems to us that adidas is very much playing the role of Goliath, trying to muscle a case that has, in our view, little merit.”
Thom Browne is preparing its counterargument “in a timely manner,” he said, and then the whole truth will reportedly come out.
“It is more than reasonable to believe that adidas, having first expressed concern to Thom Browne over three stripes, made sure to watch what Thom has been doing ever since,” the spokesperson continued. “It is only now, with Thom finally achieving some real success that adidas has behaved differently. We cannot guess why adidas is acting in this manner at this point in time.”
adidas is Suing Fashion Designer Thom Browne Over Use Of Three Stripes Trademark was originally published on cassiuslife.com