adidas and PacBrands fight it out over 4 stripes, while OHIM’s 2nd Board takes a modern view of footwear marks

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4 October 2013

POSITION MARKS IN THE SPOTLIGHT AGAIN IN AUSTRALIA AND EUROPE

adidas has in part succeeded in infringement proceedings against PacBrands in Australia. PacBrands used 4-striped designs on the sides of a number of styles of footwear, which adidas said infringed its own 3-stripe trade mark registrations.

On the other side of the world, in a somewhat surprising decision, OHIM’s 2nd Board of Appeal has allowed the registration of a shield “position mark” on the side of footwear.

These recent decisions relating to pure device marks in the footwear space will give hope to brand owners that use and promote these types of marks, and emphasise the enforcement advantage that obtaining registrations for such marks can provide.


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