Adidas: EU court rules against three stripes trademark | News | DW | 19.06.2019

Visit the new DW website

Take a look at the beta version of We're not done yet! Your opinion can help us make it better.

  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages


Adidas: EU court rules against three stripes trademark

The German company will not be allowed to trademark three stripes next to each other, Europe's second-highest court has ruled. The court called it "an ordinary figurative mark."

The General Court of the European Union on Wednesday backed a decision by EU intellectual property authorities that Adidas could not trademark three stripes.

The court said Adidas had failed to show that its trademark of parallel stripes was distinct enough in the minds of European consumers.

It said the company only provided evidence of its "acquired distinctive character" in five out of the EU's 28 member states. As such, the trademark "cannot, in the present case, be extrapolated to the entire territory of the EU."

"The mark is not a pattern mark composed of a series of regularly repetitive elements, but an ordinary figurative mark," the court said.

Read more: How Adidas promotes 'work-life balance'

Thomas Müller und Mesut Özil, football players on Germany's national team, stand next to each other

Adidas are one of the main sponsors of the German national football team

Appeal deadline

In 2014, EU intellectual property authorities approved of Adidas' three stripes trademark. However, the Belgium-based company Shoe Branding Europe challenged it, saying the trademark was not distinct enough.

Two years later, the EU Intellectual Property Office annulled Adidas' trademark, siding with the Belgian company's complaint.

The decision can still be appealed at the European Court of Justice, the EU's top court. However, Adidas only has two months to do so.

Read more: Berlin auctions off last pairs of public transit ticket sneakers on eBay

Watch video 02:43

How Adidas promotes 'work-life balance'

ls/rt (dpa, Reuters)

Every evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.