The ‘three stripe’ trade mark owned by sports brand Adidas has been the source of much contention over the past few years, with them bringing multiple actions against potential infringers.
It seems they have not stopped fighting to protect their brand and a close to home rival is their next point of call.
On 17th February, Adidas filed a lawsuit against Puma in the US arguing that Puma had infringed the ‘three stripe’ mark by placing four diagonal stripes on the side of a football boot.
While it may seem that this is just the next in a long line of attempts by Adidas to prevent any use of diagonal stripes, this claim has a connected past.
In 1924, a shoe company was set up by two German brothers, Adi and Rudolph Dassler. This union separated a number of years later. This lead to Adi setting up Adidas and Rudolph starting Puma.
The claim made by Adidas states that Puma’s use of the four stripes was a blatant attempt to mislead and deceive consumers between the two brands. In addition, it was claimed that Puma were taking advantage of the goodwill and commercial pull Adidas had built up in the stripe design.
The claim asks for injunctive relief, an order that prevents Puma from selling the boots and allows for the destruction of all infringing goods, an account for profits and damages.
If successful, Adidas will have given Puma a clear boot away from being on top of the sportswear industry.
Watch this space for a battle that may get personal.
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