The 3-Stripes and Barcelona: Adidas against Thom Browne

The 3-Stripes and Barcelona: Adidas against Thom Browne

Adidas against Thom Browne, who allegedly copied the 3 parallel stripes logo. The German giant’s complaint was presented to a New York Federal Court. Adidas claims that Browne, a brand owned by the Zegna Group, has begun to distribute sportswear that “mimics [our] 3-Stripes brand in a way that could cause consumer confusion and mislead the public about its origin, sponsorship, association or affiliation”. So: “It irreparably damages the Adidas brand”. And, all this, also has to do with Lionel Messi.

Adidas against Thom Browne

As early as 2018, according to The Fashion Law, Adidas’ legal service attempted to negotiate a resolution with Thom Browne on the same issue, to no avail. Browne’s 4-stripe logo is featured on sweatshirts and trousers and, since recent seasons, also on sneakers. “Although Thom Browne is aware of Adidas’ rights to the famous 3-Stripes brand – reads the subpoena -, it has expanded its product offering far beyond clothing. It now sells athletic-style suits and footwear with 2, 3 or 4 parallel stripes in a way that is very similar to Adidas’s 3-Stripes brand”.

What does Lionel Messi have to do with it?

There is more. Another Thom Browne move wasn’t appreciated by Adidas. In other words: the partnership with FC Barcelona started in the 2018-2019 season. According to the Germans, Browne would have promoted it “using images associated with football and some players sponsored by Adidas, including in particular Lionel Messi”. In addition to preventing the brand from continuing to distribute the disputed products, Adidas is asking for financial damages. It wants Thom Browne to “reject the profits from the illicit sales of the sportswear under investigation”.

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