Adidas Gains Early Victory in Lawsuit Against Skechers

Adidas has been handed an early victory in the trademark infringement case it filed against fellow footwear maker, Skechers. In September, adidas filed suit against the California-based brand, alleging that it was manufacturing and selling sneakers that infringe the trademarks associated with adidas’ classic Stan Smith. In addition to seeking a jury trial and monetary damages, the German sportswear giant asked the court to order a preliminary and eventually, a permanent injunction, thereby ensuring that Skechers would no longer be legally permitted to sell the allegedly infringing styles or use the adidas trademark, “Supernova,” in connection with its goods.

adidas Stan Smith (left) and Skechers' version (right)

adidas Stan Smith (left) and Skechers' version (right)

Well, as of late last week, adidas obtained a preliminary injunction, an order from a Portland, Oregon federal court requiring Skechers to immediately refrain from selling the sneakers at issue and using the term “Supernova” in connection with its footwear, at least until the case is litigated. 

Skechers released a statement on Tuesday, downplaying the court order, noting: “adidas obtained a preliminary injunction prohibiting Skechers from selling two already discontinued styles from its vast footwear collection and from using the word ‘Supernova’ in connection with a third minor discontinued style.” According to Michael Greenberg, the President of Skechers, “The Court’s ruling is preliminary, not final. Further, it involves only three minor and commercially insignificant Skechers styles that have already been discontinued, and does not create any disruption in our business or have any impact on sales whatsoever. While this is a non-issue from a commercial standpoint, we are disappointed in the ruling and fully intend to appeal it in order to ensure that our footwear designers retain the freedom to use common design elements that have long been in the public domain.”

According to a statement from the German brand upon filing suit in September: "Adidas filed the lawsuit today against Skechers to protect its valuable intellectual property and to put an end to a long-term pattern of unlawful conduct by Skechers to sell shoes that infringe Adidas' rights. We believe Skechers' unlawful behavior, which also includes misappropriation of Adidas' Supernova and three-stripe trademark, needs to stop now."

Adidas also filed similar lawsuits against Marc Jacobs and Forever 21, but has since settled those matters out of court.