Adidas in Trade Mark Infringement Battle with Marc Jacobs

Adidas are claiming that Marc Jacobs have infringed upon their trade mark through the use of four stripes on some of their sweaters. Adidas are well known for incorporating three stripes into their clothing/accessories, the use of the four stripes they claim, is too similar to their signature three stripes.

The lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court in Oregon accuses Marc Jacobs of trade mark infringement and dilution, deceptive trade practices and unfair competitor.

The contentious designs are not part of Marc Jacobs main line but are sweaters from Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley’s designs for Marc by Marc Jacobs.

Adidas claim that their signature threes stripes are “legendary” and “ubiquitous”. Adidas are also concerned that both brands are sold in similar shops, thus making them direct competitors.

Further in the suit Adidas state that Marc Jacobs have “intentionally adopted and used confusingly similar imitations of the three-stripe mark knowing that they would mislead and deceive consumers into believing that the apparel was produced, authorized, or licensed by Adidas, or that the apparel originated from Adidas”.

In a statement Adidas have commented:

“This is particularly damaging with respect to those people who perceive a defect or lack of quality in Marc Jacob’s products”. The statement continued “By causing a likelihood of confusing, mistake and deception, Marc Jacobs is inflicting irreparable harm on the goodwill symbolized by the three-stripe mark and the reputation for quality that it embodies”

It will be interesting to see how the case unfolds, especially given the recent news that the line Marc by Marc Jacobs is to discontinue and folded into the main Marc Jacobs collection.

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