Angie: The Sports Authority

Welcome to Angie's sports blog! My interesting and funny articles will show you the most recent and interesting news in the sports world.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Do all the stripes belong to Adidas?

German sports apparel corporation, Adidas, is looking forward to protect its trademark three stripes with the ferocity of a tigress protecting her cubs. In fact, following a ruling by the European Court of Justice on Thursday, the company is now a step closer to blocking manufacturers from using a two-stripe version, ending a protracted legal struggle that has lasted years.

As I'm wearing my blue Adidas jersey, I must mention that ever since the design of three parallel vertical stripes was trademarked in the late 1960s, the company has--perhaps unsurprisingly, given its simplicity--been challenging the use of stripes that either resemble or are identical to their logotype.

In fact, most cases have been settled out of court, but in the late 1990s, Adidas took several companies, including Hennes & Mauritz, to court in the Netherlands over their use of two or even four parallel stripes on sporty clothing. Ever since, that case has been batted between the Dutch courts and the European Court of Justice, which gave clarification on EU law on Thursday.

In the most recent stage of that case, the manufacturers aren't disputing Adidas' right to its trademark three-stripes. Instead they have claiming that that things such as stripes should be kept "generally available", and that's a position I totally agree with.

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