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September 11, 2009

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Adidas court claim: Three stripes and you're out

SPORTSWEAR manufacturer Adidas is seeking 500,000 yuan (US$73,200) compensation from a Wandanu sports franchise store and a Wandanu supplier for using its "three stripes" trademark without permission, a court heard yesterday.

Adidas AG also wants the store and Jinjiang Bailuchi Sports Co Ltd, to publish a statement about the infringement in a local newspaper.

Adidas said it registered Adidas and its "three stripes" logo as trademarks in China in 1985.

An Adidas lawyer bought two pairs of sports shoes for 99 yuan in the Wandanu store on Pingxingguan Road in March. The shoes were produced by the Jinjiang company.

Three parallel stripes were printed on the shoes, just the same as on Adidas products, the court heard. Adidas said the defendants had infringed the trademark on purpose.

Both defendants said they knew of Adidas but not the "three stripes" trademark. They said Adidas hadn't worked hard at promoting the trademark and most people wouldn't know the stripes represented Adidas.

The franchise store said it had been careful to ask the supplier not to provide infringing products and had stopped selling the sports shoes after hearing from Adidas.

The Jinjiang company said the three stripes were for decoration and the Wandanu trademark was printed in obvious positions on the shoes, so customers wouldn't be confused.

Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court didn't announce a verdict after the hearing.


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