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Adidas’ request for new trial in Thom Browne stripes lawsuit denied

The athleticwear company and the Zegna-owned brand have been involved in various legal disputes since 2021.

Adidas’ request for new trial in Thom Browne stripes lawsuit denied

A closeup of a person's Adidas campus sneakers. Adidas' request for a new trial in its legal fight with Thom Browne has been denied. Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images via Getty Images

Dive Brief:

  • A federal judge has denied Adidas’ request for a new trial in its years-long legal battle with Thom Browne over stripe designs.
  • The ruling was filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The judge said an opinion “setting forth the reasons for this ruling will be issued in due course.”
  •  Also on Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found Adidas’ request for an appeal to be without merit, and affirmed the lower court’s ruling, meaning the earlier decision will stand.

Dive Insight:

The athleticwear company and the Zegna-owned luxury brand have been in legal disputes over parallel stripe designs in both the U.S. and the U.K. since 2021.

Adidas previously asked the court for a new trial in its trademark infringement case against Thom Browne in October 2023, after a jury initially found Thom Browne not liable for Adidas’ claims in January 2023.

“We are disappointed with the decision, but adidas has broad trademark protection for its well-known 3-Stripes mark in various forms,” an Adidas spokesperson said in an email to Fashion Dive. “Today’s decision does not change this. adidas continues to own a wide range of trademark registrations for the 3-Stripes mark which remain unaffected by this decision. We will continue to vigorously defend all our trademark registrations globally.”

A spokesperson for Thom Browne said the brand was pleased with the Court of Appeals’ ruling, which “found no legal basis to overturn the jury’s finding that Thom Browne, Inc. did not infringe on adidas’ Three-Stripe Mark.”

In the new trial request, Adidas had alleged the Zegna-owned brand withheld emails as evidence in the trial that could be “potentially relevant to the issue of whether Thom Browne was aware that the use of the stripe designs on the activewear could create confusion with [A]didas’s Three-Stripe Mark.” The emails in question were discovered in a similar case between the brands in the U.K.

Thom Browne attorneys said in its opposition to the new trial request that the emails weren’t withheld with “the intent of concealing documents from adidas.”

The ruling comes on the heels of a decision from the European Union Intellectual Property Office, in which it rejected Adidas’ opposition to Thom Browne’s use of stripe graphics.

In that case, Adias was ordered to pay Thom Browne’s legal fees after the EUIPO said consumers were unlikely to be confused by the marks.