Adidas loses lawsuit against use of stripe trademark to designer Thom Browne

  • Adidas was eyeing $7.8 million in damages from Thom Browne subject to favourable ruling by the US court.
  • The two brands were not direct competitors and the designs did not overlap, Browne argued.
  • Adidas, which has settled more than 200 suits related to design infringement, may appeal the verdict.

New Delhi: Sportswear maker Adidas on Friday lost its lawsuit against the alleged infringement of its trademark three stripe design by fashion designer Thom Browne.

In June 2021, Adidas sued Browne for appropriating its trademark stripe design in his ‘Four Bar Signature’ and parallel stripes deisng on activewear such as T-shirts, sweatpants, and hoodies.

Adidas in 2008 first complained that Browne was using a three stripe similar to the one used on the sportwear brand’s jacket. He later switched to a four stripe design. He assumed greater prominence in 2018 after a sale to luxury fashion brand Zegna.

In the two-week trial that ended in Browne’s favour, the fashion designer argued that the two companies do not serve the same market and are not direct competitors.

Since 2008, Adidas has settled more than 200 cases and litigated in more than 90 cases over design infringement.

The sportwear giant intended to seek damages worth more than $7.8 million from the designer, Reuters reported citing documents filed with the court.

However, Adidas indicated that it may appeal the decision.

The company will “continue to vigilantly enforce our intellectual property, including filing any appropriate appeals,” the BBC reported citing an Adidas spokesperson.

“It was important to fight and tell my story,” Browne said after a Manhattan federal court jury ruled in his favour.