No Trademark Infringement: Thom Browne Triumphs
January 19, 2023

The fashion designer wins case against Adidas over use of stripes.

BBC News reports on the case between designer Thom Browne and Adidas, posting this statement from Browne in their Instagram page: “It was important to fight and tell my story.” The same post elaborates: “Fashion designer Thom Browne has won a court case against Adidas to keep using a four-stripe design. The sportswear giant had argued that luxury brand Thom Browne Inc’s four stripes were too similar to its three stripes. Browne argued that shoppers were unlikely to confuse the two brands as–among other reasons–his had a different number of stripes. Adidas had planned to ask for more than $7.8m (£6.4m) in damages–but a jury in New York sided with Browne.”

A related story by GQ wrote, “The verdict comes after a nine-day trial to decide the trademark claim Adidas brought against the American luxury label in 2021, claiming that the similarities between Browne’s parallel stripes motif and Adidas’s three-stripe trademark may confuse or mislead customers. (Thom Browne’s stripes have appeared, at various points in the brand’s history, in sets of two and three, but most often four.) Adidas sought nearly $8 million in damages and losses.”

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An article by WWD reports that “Thom Browne has prevailed in his trademark infringement suit against Adidas. On Thursday afternoon, less than three hours after closing arguments concluded, the eight-person jury came back with a verdict that found the luxury designer was not liable for damages or profits that it made selling product with four stripes.”

“The jury found that the designer did not infringe on the sport giant’s three-stripe mark” and that Thom Browne can continue to use stripes in its collection” the WWD article also said. 

Vogue Business writes: “We are pleased that the jury found that at no time did Thom Browne, Inc. infringe on any of Adidas’s trademarks,” a spokesperson for Thom Browne said in a statement. “For over 20 years now, Thom Browne has been a pioneering force in luxury fashion, bringing a wholly unique and distinctive design aesthetic that combines classic tailoring with American sportswear sensibilities. We look forward to continuing to design and provide the creative products that have become the hallmark of the Thom Browne label.”

Banner photo via Instagram @thombrowne.

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