In what could be a major blow to adidas, the general court of the European Union has denied the German brand’s attempt to trademark the Three Stripes, saying that the motif is nothing more than an "ordinary figurative mark”.

Adidas were looking to establish a wider trademark for "three parallel equidistant stripes of equal width applied to the product in whichever direction” in an effort to stop other brands using similar logos and stylings. But the EU Court denied the application, saying: "The general court of the EU confirms the invalidity of the adidas EU trademark, which consists of three parallel stripes applied in any direction. The mark is not a pattern mark composed of a series of regularly repetitive elements, but an ordinary figurative mark." 

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The news could potentially have a large impact on the value of the $14.3bn sportswear company, with other brands looking to muscle into the market for striped shoes and clothing. However, adidas does have trademark protection for its slanted Three Stripe logo. There’s been a rise in trademark and patent disputes between brands, including adidas and Skechers going head to head as well as Nike and PUMA, with the biggest players trying to differentiate their products and justify their premium pricing. Adidas do have the right to appeal the EU Court's ruling, however it's unclear at this time if they will choose to take this option.

Stay tuned for more news relating to the Three Stripes branding as and when it happens.