Adidas wins EU ruling on famous '3 stripes' design

Brussels (AFP) –


The EU's top court on Wednesday ruled that German sportswear giant Adidas alone had the right to its famous "three stripes" motif in the 28-nation bloc.

A Belgium firm, Shoe Branding Europe, in 2009 won trade mark status for a two-stripe design, prompting Adidas to file suit with the General Court of the European Union which found in its favour last year.

Shoe Branding in turn appealed to the European Court of Justice, the bloc's highest panel, which upheld the lower court's findings on Wednesday.

"Adidas may oppose the registration, as a Community mark, of parallel stripes placed on the side of sports shoes," the ECJ said in a statement.

The ECJ said the General Court had correctly judged that the European trade mark authority was at fault for not providing a proper report on the two designs and their similarities when it granted Shoe Branding Europe's request.

The ECJ found that the General Court had carried out a proper review of the designs and so was also correct in its ruling against Shoe Branding Europe.