30.8.05

Adidas sticks the boot in China


German based sportswear company Adidas has launched legal proceedings against three Chinese companies for copying its distinctinve logo.

The case was commenced before the Beijing No1 People's Intermediate Court on Monday and cites clothing manufacturer Aile and two others as defendants.

Aile is accused of infringement for manufacturing the goods carrying a three-striped design similar to the Adidas brand, while a sports goods company and a shop are accused of distributing and selling the offending articles.

The manufacture of copycat or counterfeit goods is an infringement of trademark and associated intellectual property rights, while 'dealing' in or selling such goods is also an offence (and would count as secondary infringement under UK law).

Reports suggest that Adidas is seeking the equivalent of USD370,ooo in compensation from the defendants.

Adidas is no stranger to litigation over its trademark, having launched a similar action against US company Abercrombie & Fitch earlier this year and against Polo Ralph Lauren last year over stripes that appeared on a jacket.

Whether Adidas' 'Super Star' stripes can be protected in every form came under challenge in yet another case where Adidas-Salomon sued Target Corp. and there has been much debate over the distinction between product design, trade dress and logo.

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