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Fashion Designer Thom Browne Arrives To Court In NYC For Case With Adidas Involving Their Striped Branding

Source: Michael M. Santiago / Getty

The war over horizontal lines has officially commenced. The trademark infringement trial between adidas and Thom Browne is underway.

As per Hypebeast, the two apparel companies will fight it out over who can rightfully use stripes throughout the product universe. This week, the two labels presented their opening arguments in Manhattan’s Southern District Court.

Back in June 2021 the sneaker brand served the Allentown, Pennsylvania native and his team with a lawsuit claiming that their four stripe motifs are “confusingly similar iterations” of the adidas marks. In the original complaint, adidas says their signature three-stripe trademark, which is synonymous with their most iconic footwear releases, signify the “quality and reputation” of their company.

Thom Browne responded to the filing with their own countersuit saying the two brands play in “entirely separate markets, at vastly different price points, and are not competitors.” Additionally, Rodrigo Bazan, Browne’s CEO, further detailed their stance in an exclusive interview with WWD. “We believe we are right and we are confident in the outcome of the case, as we have acted honorably for all this time. They [Adidas] consented for 12 years and now they are changing their mind,” he said. His latter comment points to when the two labels put their differences aside and agreed to act in “good faith.”

adidas is seeking $867,225 in damages as well as more than seven million in what they estimated Thom Browne in profiting from selling pieces with similar stripes. Previously adidas has sued Payless Shoesource, Skechers, Forever 21, Nike and Tesla for similar infringement.