Adidas, Wal-Mart Settle Trademark Dispute

Details of agreement not disclosed.

Adidas America Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have settled a three-year-old trademark infringement lawsuit over the discounter’s sale of footwear bearing parallel stripes.

This story first appeared in the September 4, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Attorneys for both companies agreed to the dismissal of the suit, according to documents filed last month in federal court in Portland, Ore.. Details of the settlement were not made available.

Adidas had accused Wal-Mart of violating and diluting its trademark. The athletic brand’s complaint derived primarily from the retailer’s sale of shoes and sandals with two stripes. Adidas said the designs evoked its three-stripe trademark.

“In the interest of avoiding further litigation, the parties have reached an amicable resolution to their dispute,” said Wal-Mart spokeswoman Daphne Davis Moore. “Both parties are pleased with this result.”

The companies had reached an agreement in 2002 in a similar lawsuit over Wal-Mart’s sale of footwear featuring four stripes.

Adidas, which invoked its signature tag line, “The brand with the three stripes,” in court documents, has a history of targeting perceived imitators. A search of federal civil court records showed that the company currently has at least seven patent and trademark infringement suits pending nationwide.

The company did not return a request for comment.