The Adidas Three-Stripes Saga Continues


Adidas, the sports wear giant, has filed a lawsuit against Collective Brand Inc.’s Payless Shoe Source in the Federal court of Canada for infringement of its trademarked three-stripe design.

This is not the first lawsuit sent by Adidas to Payless. In fact, in June of last year, Adidas won a former suit against the company and was awarded $305 million after more than six years’ of dispute. Then Adidas claimed that Payless copied their “Impossible is Nothing” slogan. Although reduced to $65.3 million, the award is by far the largest amount ever awarded by a U.S. court in a trademark case.

However Payless was not the only company that has got into hot water with Adidas. Major retailers, Wal-Mart and Target were charged for selling “Adidas-like” designs with their shoes. In fact, Wal-Mart has faced a three-time lawsuit from Adidas and the case was settled to an undisclosed amount in September 2008. The following month, Target was dragged into the same dispute.


The famed sneaker brand first came up with the three-stripe design in 1952 and was trademarked in 1994. Adidas sneakers found its way into American pop culture in the 70’s as their tight competition with Nike increased. But it was in the mid-eighties when hip hop legendary group, Run D.M.C., started to wear the classic Adidas sneakers and athletic wear, making the company an important brand in the hip hop world. Today the company continues to be a one of the leading athletic apparel brands in the world.

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