The South African Supreme Court of Appeal has ordered Pepkor Group to cease the sale of four types of shoes featuring four stripes. adidas had filed suit based on their world famous three stripes.
According to the Court Pepkor was passing off its footwear as that of adidas. It was clear to the Court that the rights acquired by adidas were infringed by the unauthorised use of a mark that so nearly resembled the registered mark that it was likely to deceive or cause confusion.
It all started in October 2007, when adidas discovered that Ackermans and Pep Stores had been selling trainers and soccer boots featuring two and four parallel stripes. Pepkor stated in used the stripes as mere embellishments, not as a trademark. The court ruled in favor of adidas.