Trademark War: Adidas Sues Marc Jacobs

Adidas Marc Jacobs - S 2015

Adidas Marc Jacobs - S 2015

The designer's four-stripe Marc by Marc Jacobs sweaters are apparently a little too close for comfort to the sportswear brand's signature three-stripe motif.

The difference between a new Marc by Marc Jacobs sweater design and Adidas’ very recognizable signature stripes is one single stripe. That stripe is now the subject of a lawsuit between the brands, in which Adidas is accusing Marc Jacobs of trademark infringement and dilution, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices, according to Fashionista.

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The designer piece in question is a sweater designed by Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley that features four red stripes down the arms. It’s without question very close to Adidas’ longtime look which, in the lawsuit it claims is “legendary” and “ubiquitous,” among other things. Furthermore, Adidas has a problem with the fact the brands are sold in similar stores — both appear on the racks at Saks Fifth Avenue, for example — making them direct competitors. (Adidas has a luxury line with Yohji Yamamoto, remember.) 

Though there’s no doubt a strong similarity, it will be interesting to see how this plays out, especially given the recent news that Marc by Marc Jacobs is dunzo.