If you are thinking about designing sportswear, be careful not to use the 3-striped design. If not, Adidas will chase you to court!
In the past week, Adidas just lost a lawsuit. The sports fashion brand has filed for protection of the 3-striped logo to a greater extent. However, the European Union court believes that the three stripes design is quite general; and not unique enough to win the case. But did you know: this is just one of dozens of Adidas lawsuits! Basically, this German brand has a history of willing anyone who copies its style. Adidas will sue anyone who uses the 3-striped design – whether or not it resembles the Adidas logo!
The history of 3 striped design of the Adidas logo
Why is Adidas “crazy” about this 3-striped design? To understand, we have to go back to the history of brand birth.
Adidas founder, Adolf “Adi” Dassler, had a shoe company before founding Adidas. He opened this company with his brother Rudolf Dassler. The two brothers specialize in manufacturing famous leather shoes with 2 striped designs. These stripes help tighten the shoes, keeping the shoe durable and not losing shape.
The 2-striped shoe model by Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik, Adolf Dassler’s first company and his brother
However, in 1948, the two brothers were no longer in harmony. The younger brother Rudolf Dassler separated – and immediately founded Puma; his younger brother Adolf Dassler opened his own shoe manufacturing company, Adidas. Adolf Dassler strongly believes in the durability of his 2-striped shoe model. However, the copyright of these two stripes belongs to the old company. Therefore, he decided to add a third stripe to be able to apply for a new copyright.
However, the European market already has another brand that owns the 3-stripe design copyright. It is Karhu, a Finnish sports fashion manufacturer. Karhu sold the design to Adidas in 1951; with a negotiated value of 1,600 Euro and 2 bottles of whiskey.
As soon as the 3 stripes design was purchased, the founder Adolf “Adi” Dassler registered the copyright immediately. Then he started integrating it into all Adidas designs.
The Adidas logo versions come with a 3-striped design
Adidas loves the 3 stripes logo to the point that it will sue anyone with a similar design
The similar design here covers all striped designs! From 2 stripes, 4 stripes to all 7 stripes!
Adidas is not the only company that has ever sought to protect its brand. Christian Louboutin is also famous for always suing those who plagiarize red shoe soles. However, Adidas is more extreme. The brand will sue anyone who uses stripes in their designs.
Records show that Adidas has filed more than 325 times, particularly in the United States, suing units that use stripes in their designs. The most famous is the lawsuit against Adidas Payless ShoeSource, a cheap shoe retail chain (went bankrupt in February 2019). In 2008, a United States court ruled that Payless ShoeSource lost the lawsuit; retail corporations must pay US $ 305 million to Adidas.
Adidas also faces Nike, Puma and Skechers. Currently, Adidas is suing Skechers because the Goldie-Peak shoes line has four colorful stripes.
Cite a page from Adidas’ Payless ShoeSource lawsuit. The brand cited 268 different shoe models in a text over 40 pages long.
Adidas is not just suing its rival for sports shoes
If it has stripes, whether it is fashion or … technology goods, Adidas will sue!
Adidas first sued the Abercrombie & Fitch brand, in the United States, in 2005 because this brand produces sweatpants with 3 stripes running along the pants legs. In 2017, Adidas aimed at fast fashion brands Forever21 and Juicy Couture. Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs have also been pinned down because their striped coats followed their sleeves.
Strangely, another brand adhered to Adidas was … Tesla. The high-tech car brand used to have a 3-striped logo version with an upturned tail. Adidas filed a lawsuit against Tesla as soon as it found out. However, Tesla changed its mind when it launched a brand new T-shaped logo. To this day, Tesla maintains that the change is to create a recognizable logo, and not because the brand is “afraid” of fighting with Adidas in court.
The original design of the Tesla logo has 3 stripes. However, Tesla changed to the T-shaped logo soon after hitting Adidas. The old 3-striped logo became part of the tiny Tesla text below.
Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam