Trademark Battle! Not everyone looks good in stripes, and according to Adidas, certainly not if you’re J. Crew!

J. Crew filed a trademark application to register a red-white-and-blue stripe design for apparel and accessories, but recent reports state that Adidas has opposed the application. This isn’t the first brand that has had to face the wrath of Adidas; Puma, Forever 21, Payless, Sketchers, and Marc Jacobs have all been under siege before.


The German sneaker giant has taken on about anyone who dares to use stripes in their designs, including those who have tried two, four and even seven stripes. Since 2008, Adidas has pursued over 325 infringements involving the Three-Stripe mark in the United States, including over 35 separate lawsuits.


Trademarks in Business – What Are They?

Trademarks are a great way to help keep your brand identity safe. They are meant to keep anyone else in the market from coming in and using your brand or trademark for a similar thing. Also, they are used to protect the consumer from confusion in the marketplace – it is important for consumers to know who is behind a certain product or service.

Now back to the discussion…

Is Adidas Just A Control Freak or Are They Just Protecting Their Brand?

We say, ‘good for you Adidas, keep protecting what you’ve created!’ The three parallel stripes of equal width has been a staple of the Adidas brand and was first registered by Adi Dassler on a football boot in August 1949. The three stripes brand mark has become an iconic element of the Adidas brand and therefore Adidas will do anything it can to keep others from snatching it and deteriorating the brand image.

Learn more about trademarks by reading our article on Trademarks Simplified.


What Happens When You Lose Control of Your Brand Image?

When you lose control of your brand, whether internally or externally, you lose control of all you’ve worked for. Adidas is a great example of a company that has managed their design, production and distribution, but, most important, they carefully control awareness and brand image over the globe. Those three stripes mean a lot more to them then just a design, it embodies years of hard work and brand awareness. Letting anyone come between your brand and your brand image can lead down a path of destruction so be like Adidas and fight for what is yours! You may not win every case (just ask Adidas), but if you put up the fight that is what counts.


What do you think? Is Adidas being ridiculous about their brand elements or would you do the same?


Are you looking for help with your brand image, contact our team today!