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Thom Browne Beats Adidas in Court

After both sides gave their final arguments on Thursday afternoon, the eight-person jury took less than three hours to decide. They decided that the American luxury designer Thom Browne did not steal Adidas’s trademark, so they were not responsible for damages or profits from selling products with Adidas’s trademark four stripes or grosgrain ribbon.

“We’re glad the jury decided that Thom Browne Inc. never used Adidas’ trademarks without permission. He has pioneered luxury fashion for almost 20 years with his unique blend of classic tailoring and American sportswear. “We look forward to continuing to design and supply the imaginative products that have become the trademark of the Browne’s label,” a spokeswoman told WWD.

In June 2021, Adidas filed a trademark infringement and dilution complaint against Thom Browne. The company said that Thom knew it owned the rights to the famous three-stripe mark. “It has expanded its product offerings far beyond [its] specialization of formal clothing and business clothes,” they said. According to the lawsuit, Browne is “selling athletic-style garments and footwear having two, three or four parallel stripes in a manner that is confusingly similar to Adidas’s three-stripe mark.”

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The lawyer for Adidas, R. Charles Henn Jr. of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, stated the corporation wanted $867,225 in damages for probable licensing fees. They also wanted an additional $7 million in profits from the New York brand’s products with the stripes.

Henn said that in 2007 when Adidas saw that Browne was using three stripes on varsity-style clothes. So they asked Browne’s then-CEO to change the logo to four stripes. The verdict showed that Thom Browne had not hurt Adidas’ business in more than ten years when the well-known high-end brand started putting four stripes on its clothes.

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