• Professional News
  • 02 March 2016

The CJEU allows Adidas more extensive trademark protection

On 17 February 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union made its decision in a case between Adidas and Shoe Branding. The decision implies that Adidas's three-striped trademark is granted even more extensive protection than before.

In the case at hand, Adidas had filed an opposition with OHIM against Shoe Branding's application for registration of the trademark shown below, including two stripes. Adidas was unsuccessful in its opposition proceedings before OHIM and the Board of Appeal, but succeeded in its claim before the General Court.


Adidas shoes vs Shoe Branding Europe - Bech-Bruun

The CJEU declared that it agreed with the General Court that Shoe Branding's trademark was not without similarity to Adidas's three-striped trademark. Subsequently, the opposition against registration of Shoe Branding's trademark was allowed. 


In 2014, Adidas won a case against K-Swiss's five-striped trademark (cf. below) before the General Court, and in several previous cases the CJEU also assessed issues of general public importance concerning the dilution of Adidas's three-striped trademark.


At a national level as well, Adidas has won cases against two-striped, three-striped as well as four-striped trademarks in the EU and the USA. 


The Danish Supreme Court delivered a judgment in 2005, however, determining that four stripes on a jacket sold by Coop did not constitute infringement, which is probably a contrast to the case law of the German Supreme Court. 

Adidas vs Shoe Branding Europe

For more information, please contact Claus Barrett Christiansen, clb@bechbruun.com, T +45 25 26 36 33

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