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Stripes on Nike sports pants violate Adidas' trademark rights



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Nike store in Singapore. Credits: Nike Inc.

Sportswear brand Nike may no longer sell a particular pair of sports trousers in Germany because they are very similar to competitor Adidas' three-stripe design. This was decided by the Oberlandesgericht (a form of the higher court, ed.) Düsseldorf on Tuesday in an appeal case.

In the case of four other trousers whose stripe design Adidas had also challenged, the court rejected the trademark claim, thus modifying a lower court ruling. Unlike the lower court, the higher court in Düsseldorf saw sufficient differences with the Adidas design in these trousers. "Not every pattern of side stripes on sports trousers is prohibited," the court said. The ruling is final.

Adidas had seen its trademark rights being infringed by the five 2022 trousers and filed a lawsuit. The Düsseldorf regional court then issued an order banning Nike from selling the trousers in Germany. The US company appealed. In September 2023, the regional court upheld the decision, upon which Nike appealed.(DPA)

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.NL. Translation and edit by: Rachel Douglass.