This Note explores the extent to which adidas' "three stripes" mark can extend beyond the fashion industry and can claim ownership over three solid stripes as intellectual property. Through exploring adidas’ “three stripes” mark from 2008 onwards, this Note will probe how adidas managed to target companies not only in the industry in which the trademark pertains to, but also industries that fall beyond adidas' jurisdiction of fashion. Firstly, the Note will explore various outcomes of trademark infringement cases, and what the plaintiff, adidas, attempted to claim. Secondly, two lawsuits, considered within the domain of fashion, will be briefly explored. Following this discussion, there will be an investigation into the merits of a case adidas made against a third apparel company that, while within the fashion industry, had seemingly questionable intentions. Thirdly, this Note will explore lawsuits that adidas has pursued that are either questionable and/or outside the fashion industry. Fourthly, one recently decided case influencing adidas’ trademark on an international level will be examined.
These lawsuits will be analyzed through Aristotle’s theory of property ownership which state there are “natural” needs which support going after trademark infringement cases, and “unnatural” needs, the latter of which might suggest adidas is acting unethically. This Note will argue that while the lawsuits against Juicy Couture, Inc. and Payless ShoeSource, Inc. were justified under “natural” needs, the lawsuits against Sketchers USA, Inc., PUMA SE, Tesla Motors, Inc., FC Barcelona, Forever 21, Inc., and, as proven, Shoe Branding Europe BVBA, were based on “unnatural” needs, and therefore immoral.
"Battle of the Stripes: An Aristotelian Analysis of Adidas' "Three Stripes" Trademark Infringement Cases,"
Fordham Undergraduate Law Review: Vol. 1
, Article 3.
Available at: https://research.library.fordham.edu/fulr/vol1/iss1/3