Adidas Triumphs Over Nike in Trademark Clash

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.29 - 2024 9:41 AM CET

Photo: Charnsitr /
Photo: Charnsitr /
Adidas has secured an important legal victory.

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Adidas has secured an important legal victory in its long-running trademark dispute against Nike.

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court ruled in favor of the German sportswear giant, leading to the ban of certain Nike jogging pants that closely resembled Adidas' iconic design.

A Battle Over Stripes

According to the German news outlet Bild, the conflict began in 2022 when Adidas claimed that five different models of Nike pants infringed upon its trademark protection.

The Düsseldorf Regional Court initially sided with Adidas, resulting in a ban on the sale of these Nike designs in Germany.

Unwilling to back down, Nike appealed the decision, which brought both parties back to court in April of this year.

Adidas' lawyer, Dr. Christian Rassmann, described the controversial pants as a “targeted attack on the famous Adidas brand” and emphasized that the proliferation of similar striped products would dilute the brand’s essence.

The Court's Decision

On Tuesday, the court delivered its verdict: out of the five pairs of pants, the "LA Lakers Courtside Pants" are now banned in Germany.

The court found the three stripes on these pants too similar to the Adidas trademark, despite the presence of the Nike logo. The court ruled that consumers might still perceive the stripes as a product identifier linked to Adidas.

However, not all of Nike's designs faced the same fate.

The other four pairs of shorts are still permitted for sale.

Three of them feature a prominently visible "Swoosh" logo, while the fourth pair, designed in the style of the Paris Saint-Germain football club, has stripes spaced closely enough to resemble a uniform decorative band rather than a brand identifier.

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