Adidas Appeals Striped Design Case Against Thom Browne Months After Verdict
By Nicole Rodrigues, 30 Aug 2023
In the complex intellectual property arena, a legal skirmish between sportswear giant Adidas and fashion designer Thom Browne continues to unfurl. At the heart of the dispute lie products adorned with four stripes or the trademark grosgrain ribbon, each side asserting their rightful claim.
This legal saga began with a Manhattan Southern District Court jury rendering Thom Browne exempt from any obligation to pay damages or forfeit profits. Adidas sought a substantial US$867,225 for licensing fees and a staggering US$7,011,961 million in profits.
According to WWD, Adidas is now launching an appeal. The argument made by Adidas revolves around the claim that the judge in charge gave incorrect instructions regarding the possibility of confusion at different points of the consumer journey. Adidas believes that confusion could occur not only during the purchase stage but also when the consumer first becomes interested in a product and after the sale has been made.
Adidas contended that crucial testimony from one of its experts was unjustly omitted to fortify its stance. This omission, it argues, deprived it of a fair chance to present its case comprehensively.
In response, Thom Browne’s legal team asserted that the jury remained adequately informed and that excluding the expert witness did not prejudice Adidas. It urged the court to dismiss Adidas’ endeavor to reopen the lawsuit, characterizing it as riddled with factual gaps and misrepresentations.
As it stands, the court has yet to decide whether the case warrants a fresh trial. The wheels of justice, as they often do, grind slowly, and resolution is expected to be a protracted affair.
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