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Verdict: Adidas largely loses to Nike in court

Verdict: Adidas largely loses to Nike in court

Are striped patterns on sportswear exclusive to Adidas? The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court has now said no. This means Nike has won against the German sporting goods manufacturer. At least in part, because Adidas won in the case of trousers.

In the legal dispute with the US sportswear manufacturer Nike, Adidas has suffered a major defeat. The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court ruled that not every side stripe pattern on sports pants should be banned. It is undisputed that Adidas labels its sportswear with three vertical, equally wide stripes on the sides.

“However, this does not mean that every stripe pattern applied to the side, regardless of its specific design and the other design of the garment, is attributed to Adidas AG,” the court explained. This is because other clothing manufacturers also use stripe patterns as a decorative element. “Therefore, both the specific stripe design and the other symbols on the contested trousers must be taken into account in the examination.”

Not the first dispute between Nike and Adidas

The dispute revolved around five sports pants with side stripes that Nike wanted to sell in Germany. The judges ruled in Adidas’ favor in the case of one of the pants. They found that the three stripes on the pants were so similar to Adidas’ three-stripe logo that they were not just seen as a decorative element, but as a product label. However, the stripes on the other four pants were so different from the Adidas logo that there was no confusion. In the first instance, the Düsseldorf Regional Court had prohibited the sale of the five pants in Germany. Nike had appealed against this ruling.

This is not the first time that the two companies have fought in court over their trademark rights. In 2005, a court banned Nike from selling shoes with two stripes because they were too similar to the Adidas logo.

Source: Stern

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