Adidas sues Thom Browne over use of stripes
Adidas is targeting Thom Browne.
According to The Fashion Law, the German sportswear giant is suing the American brand for its iconic striped pattern that can be seen on everything from suits and shoes to bags and optics. Adidas claims that Thom Browne is well aware of its three-stripe brand, but has expanded its offering to “athletic-style sportswear and shoes that wear similar knockoffs of the three-stripe brand from Adidas,” which the company has been using it since the middle of the 20th century.
The plaintiffs argue that the Three Stripes have become synonymous with Adidas, in large part thanks to millions of dollars in marketing. They also highlight Thom Browne’s ongoing partnership with FC Barcelona, saying the deal has confused associations and athletes’ sponsors.
“Thom Browne has promoted their products using images associated with soccer and even several Adidas sponsored soccer players including Lionel Messi,” the costume reads. “An October 4, 2018 article in GQ titled ‘How Thom Browne Becomes Lionel Messi’s Tailor of Choice’ noted the overlap with the caption: ‘Fresh off a Zenga acquisition, the other Three Stripes is launching its latest forays into sportswear, with FC Barcelona. “
Adidas claims that Thom Browne’s continued use of the stripe pattern will not only mislead the public, but will also harm “the Adidas brand and its extremely valuable product. [mark]. “
According to TFL, the litigation dates back to 2018, when Adidas allegedly learned that Thom Browne had filed a trade mark application for a mark that had been removed from the European Union. Adidas claimed his team investigated the case and started the mediation process with the label in November 2020; however, the procedure failed to resolve the dispute.
Adidas is asking the court to prevent Thom Browne from “distributing, marketing or selling clothing and footwear using or bearing similar and confusing imitations of the adidas three stripe mark”. The brand is also claiming damages and legal costs.
A spokesperson for Thom Browne told WWD the label had worked with Adidas to resolve the issue “out of court,” but the sportswear brand abruptly ended those talks and filed the lawsuit.
“Upon review, it seems to us that Adidas is really playing the part of Goliath, trying to beef up a case that we believe has little merit,” said the spokesperson. “What’s important to understand is that Adidas gave Thom Browne okay over 10 years ago and actually suggested that Thom add an extra stripe to reach four on the sleeves or pants. and that it would be OK by Adidas. From that point on, for over a decade, Adidas never said a word to Thom Browne. It is more than reasonable to believe that Adidas, having first expressed his worry to Thom Browne on three bands, made sure to look at what Thom has been up to since. Adidas, like all good brands, is watching the market. Only now, when Thom is finally achieving real success, that Adidas behaved differently. We can’t guess why Adidas is acting this way at this point. “