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6/19, 11:34 AM (Source: TeleTrader)
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EU court declares Adidas trademark invalid

The General Court, a constituent court of the European Court of Justice, held on Wednesday that Adidas AG's three-stripe trademark was invalid as it did not have a distinctive character on the territory of the European Union and upheld an annulment decision by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

The EUIPO initially registered the trademark in favor of the German sportswear company. However, after Belgian company Shoe Branding Europe BVBA filed an application for a declaration of invalidity in 2016, the EUIPO annulled the registration of Adidas' mark on the ground that it should not have been registered in the first place and that Adidas had not proven that it had acquired distinctive character through use throughout the EU. The latter appealed the EUIPO's decision.

The General Court agreed with the latter that Adidas' mark had not acquired a distinctive character throughout the EU and that most of the evidence that the German company had produced in its favor was not relevant to the case at hand. It added that the evidence that was produced and was somewhat relevant pertained to only five member states and could not be applied to the territory of the entire EU. It therefore dismissed Adidas' appeal and upheld the EUIPO's annulment decision.

Breaking the News / DZ