A jury in Manhattan on Thursday (January 12, 2022) concluded Adidas failed to prove that label Thom Browne‘s use of stripe details on its clothing infringed the German brand’s signature three-stripe trademark. Adidas had argued Thom Browne’s use of parallel stripes were likely to cause confusion with Adidas’ product. Thom Browne’s lawyer argued in part that the label’s designs use a different number of stripes.
In an exchange with the Associated Press outside of the courtroom, designer Thom Browne said, “he said, “It was important to fight and tell my story. And I think it’s more important and bigger than me, because I think I was fighting for every designer that creates something and has a bigger company come after them later.
In an email exchange about the court decision, Adidas spokesperson Rich Erfus says, “We are disappointed with the verdict and will continue to vigilantly enforce our intellectual property, including filing any appropriate appeals.”
The initial dispute began in 2007 over Thom Browne’s use of a gros grain, three stripe ribbon on some of his apparel. The label came to an agreement with Adidas and shifted to using four stripes.
Following the sale of Thom Browne to Italian luxury conglomerate Zegna in 2018, a move that help spur a higher profile for the label, Adidas sued the New York-based label in 2021 following trademark applications for red, white, and blue striped trademarks for use on footwear,