We learned the story of adidas over the years: its foundation, the history of the 'stolen' logo on Kahru and those Three Stripes that have become the unmistakable symbol of the German brand. But not according to the General Court of the European Union, which reiterated the invalidity of the logo composed of "three equally spaced parallel stripes, applied on the product in any direction", thus confirming the decision already taken in 2016.

But let's take a step back: in 2014 the Three Stripes had been correctly registered by the EUIPO (the European Union Intellectual Property Office) before to delete the decision following a request from the Belgian brand Shoe Branding Europe bvba, the owner of the famous shoes brand Patrick, who had appealed considering the impossibility of registering his own brand (in which two stripes instead of three appeared) because it was too similar to that of adidas.

adidas failed to register its own trademark, again The EU Court just confirmed it: the Three Stripes have no distinctive character | Image 0
 

The ruling of the court of first instance of the EU Court of Justice, based in Luxembourg, confirmed that the German company failed to prove the distinctive character of the Three Stripes, managing to identify clear evidence only in 5 of the 28 member countries of the European Union in which consumers immediately associated stripes with the brand, but a mere simple figurative mark. A spokeswoman for the German sports giant commented:

“Whilst we are disappointed with the decision, we are further evaluating it and are welcoming the useful guidance that the court will give us for protecting our 3-stripe mark applied to our products in whichever direction in the future”.

Now a counter-appeal is expected from adidas, which in the meantime has suffered a slight backlash on the Stock Exchange, losing 1.3% in Frankfurt.