German sportswear company Adidas has failed to secure a trademark on its famous 3 stripes.
The General Court of the EU has decided that the 3 stripes was not distinctive enough and that people in the EU could not identify if it was Adidas just because of the 3 stripes.
In 2014 the European Union Intellectual Property Office gave Adidas a trade mark so it could use the famous 3 stripes on clothing, footwear and headgear.
Adidas had some competition as in 2016 following an application for declaration of invalidity filed by the Belgian undertaking Shoe Branding Europe BVBA, EUIPO annulled the registration of that mark on the ground that it was devoid of any distinctive character both inherent and acquired through use.
According to EUIPO, the mark should not have been registered. In particular, adidas had failed to establish that the mark had acquired distinctive character through use throughout the EU.
In today’s judgment, the General Court upholds the annulment decision, dismissing the action brought by adidas against the EUIPO decision.
Adidas still has many trade marks and copyrights for its name and nothing will change for the sportswear company.
However the rulling today means any company can use the the three stripes, it means Donnay who have a jacket with three stripes at either side will be aloud to do this.
Adidas is well known for its 3 stripes, it is distinctive and Adidas should appeal.
The full court document can be found by clicking this LINK