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Adidas loses US Appeals Court Bid to Revive Thom Browne 3-Stripes Trademark Lawsuit

Adidas sued New York designer Thom Browne's brand in 2021

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on May 6, 2024, 11:22:21


adidas, thom browne, trademark, trademark lawsuit, us appeal court, intellectual property

Athletic wear giant Adidas failed to persuade a US appeals court to reinstate its lawsuit claiming fashion house Thom Browne ripped off the company's iconic three-stripe trademark.

Adidas had argued in its appeal that a Manhattan judge issued flawed instructions to the federal jury that rejected the lawsuit last year. A 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals panel disagreed that the jury instructions "appropriately reflected the law and evidence presented at trial."

Adidas said in a statement that it is disappointed with the ruling and that it "continues to own a wide range of trademark registrations for the 3-Stripes mark which remain unaffected by this decision."A spokesperson for Thom Browne said the fashion house was pleased with the ruling.

Adidas sued New York designer Thom Browne's brand in 2021, claiming Thom Browne's four-bar and "Grosgrain" stripe patterns on its shoes and high-end activewear violated its three-stripe trademark rights.

A jury determined in January 2023 that the fashion house's designs were not likely to cause customer confusion with Adidas' products and did not violate the company's trademark rights.

Adidas has filed more than 90 lawsuits and reached more than 200 settlements related to the trademark since 2008, according to court documents in the case. Adidas in its appeal had said US District Judge Jed Rakoff gave the jury incorrect instructions on how to determine whether Thom Browne's clothing would confuse consumers.

The appeals court said the differences in Adidas' proposed instruction and the instruction that Rakoff gave were "immaterial." Rakoff separately denied Adidas' motion for a new trial on other grounds. The case is Adidas America Inc v. Thom Browne Inc, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 23-166.

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