adidas and top designer Marc Jacobs are not the best of friends. Even worse, they have a fight going on, and this fight is now brought into court. The reason: the recent winter collection of Marc by Marc Jacobs presented garments with four stripes. And everyone knows: keep away from stripes on clothing as adidas is defending its three-stripe mark vigorously.
According to adidas, Marc Jacobs “intentionally adopted and used confusingly similar imitations of the three-stripe mark knowing that they would mislead and deceive consumers into believing that the apparel was produced, authorized, or licensed by adidas, or that the apparel originated from adidas.” Heavy accusations. And the four-stripe is even more problematic as adidas is producing special lines of garments designed by well known designers. Finally, according to adidas “this is particularly damaging with respect to those people who perceive a defect or lack of quality in Marc Jacobs’ products.” And that hurts.
In Europe, the three-stripe mark has been subject of years of litigation. At the end, it is a strong trademark which will be recognized as such. Especially when you see the garment of Marc Jacobs, you might assume that the four stripes must be a fashion statement. If so, it is a dangerous one.
Photos: The Fashion Law
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”