EU General Court confirms invalidation of adidas three-stripes EUTM
On 19 June 2019 the General Court handed down its judgment in Case T-307/17 adidas AG vs EUIPO/Shoe Branding Europe BVBA. The General Court rejected adidas appeal and upheld the earlier decision of the Boards of Appeal before the EUIPO. The case concerned the validity of one of Adidas’s three-stripes European Union trade marks. The General Court upheld the invalidity of the mark on the basis that:
- the mark wasn’t used consistently and evidence of amended versions of the mark was inadmissible; and
- by presenting evidence for only five Member States, adidas failed to demonstrate acquired distinctiveness across the EU.
The ruling only confirms the refusal of an EU wide trademark, adidas can still protect its stripes at national level i.e. directly before the IP offices in the member states.