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Bryan E. Kuhn
Counselor at Law, P.C.
Business & Employment Law Attorney

Adidas sues Ecco for using parallel stripes on shoes

Colorado residents are likely familiar with the three stripes mark on Adidas clothing and shoes. The highly recognizable pattern was trademarked by Adidas decades ago, and the company has defended its trademark many times. A lawsuit filed by Adidas America Inc. against Ecco USA Inc. is the latest court case involving Adidas’ three stripes mark.

The lawsuit against Ecco was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon on April 20. Adidas claims that Ecco has infringed on its three stripes trademark by selling shoes with three or four parallel stripes decorating the sides. The parallel stripes on Ecco shoes may mislead and confuse consumers about which company produced the shoes, according to Adidas.

In its lawsuit, Adidas cites the Trademark Act of 1946 and claims that Ecco’s trademark infringement and use of the three stripes logo has irreparably harmed the Adidas brand. Adidas has asked the court to stop Ecco from selling shoes that contain misleading stripes and surrender all of its profits from the sale of footwear with misleading stripes. Monetary and punitive damages are also being sought by Adidas.

Trademarked designs can be extremely valuable to a company, especially when a key feature of its products is one highly recognizable trademarked design. A company that has suffered monetary losses due to another party’s unauthorized use of its trademarks may want to file a trademark infringement lawsuit against the other party with the help of an attorney who has experience in intellectual property litigation seeking appropriate compensation as well as equitable relief.

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