In a 43-page opinion, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the German sportswear giant in its effort to prevent rival Skechers from manufacturing, distributing, advertising, selling, or offering for sale sneakers that are “confusingly” similar to its classic Stan Smith.
In a unanimous decision from the 9th Circuit’s 3-judge panel released on Thursday, the court upheld a previously-issued preliminary injunction, which served to prohibit Skechers from selling shoes that allegedly infringe and dilute (i.e., lessen the distinctiveness of) adidas’s Stan Smith trade dress and 3-stripe trademark, for the duration of the parties’ legal battle, and then, potentially, after the close of the trial.
Writing for the panel, Judge Jacqueline Nguyen stated that the lower court, the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in Portland, “did not abuse its discretion in issuing the preliminary injunction as to adidas’s claim the Skechers’s Onix shoe infringed adidas’s unregistered trade dress of its Stan Smith shoe.”
Moreover, the court held that the district court was correct in finding that adidas showed a likelihood that it will succeed at trial in connection with its trademark infringement and trademark dilution claims, as well, for its wildly popular Stan Smith. Adidas told the court in its complaint – which cited claims of trade dress and trademark infringement, as well as trademark dilution – that it has sold over 40 million pairs if its famous Stan Smith shoe worldwide.
Despite its initial victory in connection with Skechers’ Onix shoe, it was not all wins for adidas in court this week. The court declined to uphold an injunction on the basis that Skechers’s Cross Court shoe infringed and diluted adidas’ 3-stripe trademark.
The full article can be read on thefashionlaw.com