Amer­i­can court pro­tects Adi­das Stan Smith shoe from Skech­ers

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An Amer­i­can ap­peals court said Adi­das AG can pro­tect its fa­mous Stan Smith ten­nis shoe against an al­leged Skech­ers USA Inc knock­off. The court up­held a pre­lim­i­nary in­junc­tion bar­ring Skech­ers from sell­ing its Onix shoe, which Adi­das said looked too much like its white Stan Smith shoe, its all-time best-seller with more than 40 mil­lion pairs sold.

The court also re­versed a sim­i­lar in­junc­tion bar­ring Skech­ers from sell­ing its Cross Court shoe, which has three stripes on its side, find­ing no proof Adi­das would suf­fer ir­repara­ble harm.

The law­suit is one of many by footwear mak­ers seek­ing to pro­tect their patent and trade­mark rights. Adi­das has sued Skech­ers sev­eral times in the last two decades for al­leged in­fringe­ment of its three-stripe trade­mark.

The court said the Stan Smith, named for the early 1970s Amer­i­can ten­nis star, has en­joyed “tremen­dous com­mer­cial suc­cess and mar­ket recog­ni­tion,” and Adi­das might face ir­repara­ble harm if sim­i­lar shoes flooded the mar­ket. It also said ev­i­dence sug­gested that Skech­ers in­tended to con­fuse con­sumers by cre­at­ing the “nearly iden­ti­cal” Onix, and then di­rect­ing con­sumers who searched on­line for “adi­das stan smith” to the Onix web­site.

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