FASHION LAW: ADIDAS FIGHTS MARC JACOBS’S COPYCAT THREE STRIPE DESIGN
Adidas is famous for being a high quality purveyor of sportswear making its three stripe trademark known worldwide. Fashion designer Marc Jacobs is in hot water for copying Adidas’ signature trade dress for his own apparel line where he features a similar four stripe design.
Adidas claims that Marc Jacobs International is “intentionally and maliciously” copying the trademarked design and is seeking unspecified cash damages as well as all marketed apparel with Marc Jacobs’ four stripe to be destroyed. Adidas fears that Jacobs’ four stripe concept, which is almost identical to Adidas three stripe, will puzzle and mislead customers.
The suit states “Marc Jacobs’ use of confusingly similar imitations of Adidas’ three stripe mark is likely to deceive, confused and mislead purchasers and prospective purchasers into believing that the apparel sold by Marc Jacobs is manufactured by, authorized by, or in some manner associated with Adidas, which it is not.”
The sportswear giant is resting on the basis that they have spent millions of dollars to promote its three stripe emblem making it instantly recognizable to the entire world, which Jacobs has now compromised.
Adidas is represented by attorneys at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton who feel confident in their ability to win this case given a 2008 jury verdict in which they won on behalf of their client in a similar case against Payless ShoeSource who were selling shoes with two and four stripes.