The European Union’s top court has ruled in Adidas’s favor, holding that the German sportswear giant alone has the right to its famous "three stripes" trademark amongst its 28-member nations. Wednesday’s ruling comes after Shoe Branding Europe, a Belgiun footwear brand, was awarded trademark registration for a two-stripe mark in 2009, prompting Adidas to file suit with the General Court of the European Union.
The General Court ruled in adidas’ favor last year, at which point Shoe Branding appealed the decision to the European Court of Justice, the union’s highest-level court. As of Wednesday, the court upheld the lower court's findings.
"Adidas may oppose the registration, as a Community mark, of parallel stripes placed on the side of sports shoes," the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) said in a statement in regards to adidas’ opposition of Shoe Branding’s two-stripe mark. The court held that the General Court had correctly judged that the European trademark authority was at fault for not providing preparing a proper report on the two parties’ marks and their similarities before it granted Shoe Branding Europe's application for registration. Moreover, the ECJ found that the General Court had carried out a proper review of the trademarks and as a result, issued a sound ruling on the matter.