Adidas sued New York designer Thom Browne's brand in 2021, claiming Thom Browne's four-bar and "Grosgrain" stripe patterns on its shoes and high-end activewear violated its three-stripe trademark rights
Adidas has filed over 90 lawsuits and signed more than 200 settlement agreements since 2008 related to the trademark, according to court documents in the case. Thom Browne previously used a three-bar design on its clothing, changing it to the four-stripe design after Adidas objected in 2007.
Thom Browne’s attorney, Robert T. Maldonado of Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks P.C., started his closing argument with a simple statement: “Adidas does not own stripes.”
He said Thom Browne, the designer and founder of the eponymous brand who was in the front row in his signature shorts suit and striped socks, cared enough about his company to be in court every day. On Thursday, the entire right side of the courtroom was filled with members of his team, all sporting head-to-toe looks from the collection.
He pointed to testimony from several witnesses over the course of the trial that, when asked to provide a specific definition for the three-stripe mark, said it could be anything from one to five or six bars, depending upon the usage. And the “smooshing” together of the bars on a collaboration with Gucci was also defined as three bars, another witness testified.
*Previously: Thom Browne's Moby Dick-themed collection, including whale hats