Adidas v. Thom Browne: Who Owns the Stripes?

The prolonged trademark dispute between Adidas and Thom Browne has opened a new chapter.  The dispute began in 2007, when Adidas initially raised concerns with Thom Browne’s use of a three striped design.  In response, Thom Browne abandoned use of its three striped design and began use of its current four striped design.  The legal contention arose nearly a decade later in 2018, when Thom Browne expanded its product line into sportswear, prompting Adidas to pursue legal action in the United States.  

In January 2023, a US jury found Thom Browne not guilty of infringing Adidas’ trademark. However, a surprising turn of events occurred in October 2023, when previously undisclosed emails surfaced.  These emails are alleged to reveal discussions between Thom Browne employees cautioning against the use of the stripes design on sportswear due to a potential confusion with Adidas’ stripes design.  Adidas wants to call these emails into evidence.  Thom Browne contends that these emails were not intentionally concealed.  A new hearing is scheduled for December 21, 2023, signaling another critical phase in the ongoing trademark dispute between Adidas and Thom Browne.  Stay tuned for more!

If you want to discuss trademarks in the fashion industry, or if you have any questions about trademark infringement, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts today!