American court protects Adidas Stan Smith shoe from Skechers
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.