Adidas vs Skechers Trademark Dispute
Adidas is a world-famous shoe manufacturer and Skechers is the second largest shoe producer in the United States.
Plaintiff adidas brings trademark infringement claims against Defendant Skechers concerning three different shoes (collectively “the disputed footwear”). First, adidas alleges that Skechers’s Onix shoe infringes its Stan Smith Trade Dress. Second, adidas alleges that Skechers’s Cross Court shoe infringes adidas’s famous Three-Stripe Mark. The parties litigate whether Skechers infringed adidas’s trademark rights regarding the Stan Smith Trade Dress, the Three-Stripe Mark, and the Supernova Mark. The Court previously granted adidas’s motion for a preliminary injunction enjoining Skechers from continuing to sell the disputed footwear. Adidas won the injunction against Skechers. The preliminary injunction prevented Skechers from manufacturing, distributing, advertising, selling, or offering for sale any footwear (a) that is confusingly similar to Adidas’s Stan Smith trade dress, (b) bearing stripes in a manner that is confusingly similar to Adidas’s Three-Stripe mark, or (c) under Adidas’s Supernova mark.
Trademark cases with large companies such as Adidas and Skechers show how important trademarks are in protecting a company’s image and consumer base.
Skechers challenged the district court’s issuance of a preliminary injunction prohibiting it from selling shoes that allegedly infringe and dilute adidas America, Inc.’s Stan Smith trade dress and Three-Stripe trademark. The panel affirmed in part, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in issuing the preliminary injunction as to adidas’s claim that Skechers’s Onix shoe infringes on adidas’s unregistered trade dress of its Stan Smith shoe. However, the panel reversed in part, holding that the district court erred in issuing a preliminary injunction as to adidas’s claim that Skechers’s Cross Court shoe infringes and dilutes its Three-Stripe mark.
Trademark attorneys had hoped that a Ninth Circuit ruling in Adidas’ lawsuit against Skechers might clear up recent uncertainty about how to win a preliminary injunction, but experts say the decision has left plenty up in the air.
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