Adidas has lost a court case concerning trademark protection of the well-known three stripes at the General Court of the European Union. The judges thereby confirm the opinion of the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
Adidas had applied for trademark protection in 2013 for placing the three stripes in all directions on clothing, shoes or caps. The Belgian company Shoe Branding lodged an objection with EUIPO, claiming that the sign has no distinctive character and was proved right three years ago. The mark should not have been registered. Adidas then went to the EU court in Luxembourg.
This judges that the German sports equipment brand has not been able to demonstrate that it is distinctive throughout the European Union. According to the courts, there is a ‘normal figurative mark’. As a result, for example, the argument of protection based on color combination (black stripes on a white background) is irrelevant, according to the court.
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