June 20th, 2019Adidas Loses Three Stripes Battle in Europe

The German sportswear giant took an L in Europe’s second highest court  the day before the NBA Draft where they hope to beat out rival Nike to win the Zion Williamson sweepstakes. The presumptive top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Williamson, enters the Draft today on the verge of signing one of the largest rookie sneaker deals in NBA history. While Adidas didn’t offer enough evidence to claim their signature parallel stripes were a mark of “distinctive character” worthy of protection, they will be vying to offer a record breaking shoe deal to Williamson.

The European Union ruling on Wednesday makes it harder for Adidas to go after rival brands that use the three-strip motif, according to a person familiar with the court. The court deemed the three-stripes logo “too basic” to trademark. This is just another intellectual property dispute in the sportswear industry, but the signature three stripes logo is so recognizable to the company worth $14.3 billion dollars. The three-stripe logo was first registered by Adidas’s founder, Adi Dassler in 1949 when it was featured on a football boot.

The court’s decision came in response to a challenge by Adidas against the 2016 annulment of the three-stripe trademark by the EU IP Office, which was itself sought by Belgian company Shoe who to had a two stripe trademark deemed invalid last year.

The ruling is open to appeal for the next two months.

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