Adidas won a lawsuit against the Belgian company Shoe Branding regarding a dispute about trademarks.
In 2009, Shoe Branding applied for the following European trademark for Class 25:
Against this application was filed an opposition by Adidas on the ground of the following earlier trademark for Class 25:
Initially OHIM dismissed the opposition because according to the Office the difference in the number of stripes and their position on the sneakers are quite sufficient to overcome any doubts for possible similarity and confusion between both trademarks.
The submitted evidences for acquired reputation related with the earlier mark were irrelevant taking into account the lack of necessary degree of similarity between the signs.
This decision was appealed.
The General Court reversed the OHIM’s decision because according to the court despite the difference in the number of stripes and their relevant position, the overall impression creating by the earlier mark is very close to that presented by the Adidas’ mark.
The European court upheld this decision.