By  on July 1, 2019

Adidas has relentlessly sought to keep three stripes synonymous with its brand, suing rivals and perceived imposters in the U.S. — but that tenacity doesn’t move trademark authorities everywhere. 

In recent years, the sportswear company has tried to get the European Union to formally recognize three uniform, parallel stripes in any direction as its trademark. At first, it worked — the European Union Intellectual Property Office granted Adidas the trademark in 2014. But the office annulled it two years later when the Belgian footwear company Shoe Branding Europe BVBA challenged the mark. The stripes in that broad context were judged to not to be distinctive enough. 

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