Adidas escalates war with Forever 21 over three-stripe TM


Adidas escalates war with Forever 21 over three-stripe TM

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Sportswear company Adidas has escalated its war against fashion retailer Forever 21, claiming infringement of its three-stripe trademark.

The battle has been brewing for months—in March this year, WIPR reported that Forever 21 had attacked Adidas in a declaratory judgment claim filed at the US District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division.

In its claim, Forever 21 accused the sportswear company of taking the protection of its ‘three-stripe’ trademark too far.

According to a survey, WIPR readers agreed that Adidas had gone too far, with two readers claiming that the company had bullied parties “who are not even close to infringing its marks into submission”.

Adidas is the owner of various registrations for the ‘three-stripe’ mark, including numbers 1,815,956 and 1,833,868, issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

On July 11, Adidas hit back, with the filing (pdf) of an amended complaint at the US District Court for the District of Oregon, Portland Division.

Forever 21 was accused of selling footwear and apparel that infringed Adidas’s three-stripe mark.

“Exacerbating matters, Forever 21 also recently offered counterfeit Adidas products for sale on its website (, under the false and misleading label ‘Repurposed Adidas’ products,” said the claim.

Adidas has sued Forever 21 previously over the mark—in August 2015, the sportswear company accused the retailer of selling children’s film-themed jumpers that have stripes on the shoulders and arms.

The companies resolved the dispute by entering into a settlement agreement in October that year.

“In the 2015 agreement, Forever 21 agreed that it ‘will not produce, manufacture, distribute, sell, offer for sale, advertise, promote, license, or market … any … product bearing the ‘three-stripe’ mark or any design, mark, or feature that is confusingly similar to the ‘three-stripe’ mark,” said the suit.

It added that Forever 21 has shown a “callous disregard” for Adidas’s trademark rights and for the 2015 agreement.

Adidas is seeking injunctive relief, an order for Forever 21 to cease selling the infringing goods, profits, enhanced damages, and a jury trial.

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Adidas, Forever 21, trademark, trademark infringement, three-stripe, clothing, apparel