German sports shoes and apparel major adidas has lost its suit for a trademark protection on its three stripes logo. The European Union General Court has declined trademark protection to adidas’ three-stripes logo.
“The General Court of the EU confirms the invalidity of the adidas EU trade mark which consists of three parallel stripes applied in any direction,” the General Court of the European Union has stated in a Press release.
“adidas does not prove that that mark has acquired, throughout the territory of the EU, distinctive character following the use which had been made of it,” the court further observed.
The ruling meant adidas would not gave legal right to prevent other companies and designers from using three parallel stripes mark.
The court has further noted that “first of all, that the mark is not a pattern mark composed of a series of regularly repetitive elements, but an ordinary figurative mark. The General Court also finds that the forms of use which fail to respect the other essential characteristics of the mark, such as its colour scheme (black stripes against white background), cannot be taken into account.”
The high court judgment had upheld a 2016 decision from the European Union Intellectual Property Office, which dismissed Adidas‘ 2014 trademark application after determining the logo was “devoid of any distinctive character,”
The General Court also stated that adidas has failed to establish that the stripes had a distinctive enough character throughout the 28-nation trade bloc. “The mark is not a pattern mark composed of a series of regularly repetitive elements, but an ordinary figurative mark,” the court said in the statement.
The court also noted that “the General Court notes that EUIPO did not commit an error of assessment in finding that adidas had not proved that the mark at issue had been used throughout the territory of the European Union and that it had acquired, in the whole of that territory, distinctive character following the use which had been made of it. From the evidence produced by adidas, the only evidence which is, to some extent, relevant relates to only five Member States and cannot, in the present case, be extrapolated to the entire territory of the EU.”
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