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Adidas loses 3-stripes trade mark battle in Europe

Key Points
  • This is not the first time that the German company has had to address challenges with regards to its logo.
  • Adidas "is disappointed with the recent ruling," a spokesperson told CNBC via email on Thursday.
The employee of Adidas Elisabeth Koelemij Peters, poses with a shoe of the German sportswear giant prior the shareholders meeting of the German sportswear giant Adidas.
Christof Stache | AFP | Getty Images

Sportswear giant Adidas lost another battle over its three-stripe branding on clothing, footwear and headgear.

The General Court of the European Union confirmed Wednesday that the three parallel stripes applied in any direction is not a valid trade mark.

"Adidas does not prove that that mark has acquired, throughout the territory of the EU, distinctive character following the use which had been made of it," the General Court said in its ruling.

This is not the first time that the German company has had to address challenges with regards to its logo. In 2014, the European Union Intellectual Property Office registered, in favour of Adidas, the three parallel equidistant stripes of identical width, applied on the product in any direction. However, in 2016, the same institution annulled that registration on the basis that it lacked a distinctive character – this came after an application from the Belgian undertaking, Shoe Branding Europe BVBA.

"Adidas is disappointed with the recent ruling by the General Court to uphold the cancellation of the company's 3-Stripe mark applied to our products in whichever direction in Europe," a spokesperson for Adidas told CNBC via email on Thursday.

The same spokesperson told CNBC that Adidas is considering its options.

"This ruling is limited to this particular execution of the 3-Stripe mark and does not impact on the broad scope of protection that adidas has on its well-known 3-Stripe mark in various forms in Europe. 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," the spokesperson said.

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