Orange County - Adidas filed a lawsuit against World Industries for infringing on multiple of its three parallel diagonal-striped design trademarks. Germany's Adidas as well as Adidas America, which is based out of Portland, Oregon, filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court, District of Oregon for alleged trademark infringement. Adidas accuses World Industries, a skateboard company based in Costa Mesa, California, of producing the infringing sneakers. Adidas is also suing Big 5, the sporting goods store, for selling the product.
While Adidas is the world's second largest sporting goods company it is no stranger to similar lawsuits. In previous years Adidas filed similar lawsuits against Wal-Mart Stores and Payless ShoeSource for selling "knock-off" shoes that have two, three, and four parallel diagonal stripes. In fact, Adidas was awarded a $65.3 million by a federal judge in its trademark lawsuit against Wal-Mart. The two companies later settled on a confidential amount.
Adidas trademarked the three parallel diagonal-striped designs in the United States in 1994 but claims use as early as 1952. A spokesperson representing Adidas stated: "World Industries' merchandise is likely to cause consumer confusion, deceive the public regarding its source, and dilute and tarnish the distinctive quality of Adidas' Three-Stripe Mark."
Many of World Industries' products display a "W" on the product. However, the alleged knock-off shoes' "W" is positioned in a way that Adidas states is a certain way to confuse the consumer. The "W" on the shoes in question has three pointed tips that are shaped similar to arrows.
Big 5, based in El Segundo, California is not only being accused of selling the infringing shoes but they are also being accused of promoting the shoes in large advertisements as well as "strategically" placing the World Industries shoes near Adidas shoes in its stores. In the complaint, Adidas included advertisements as exhibits to support its claims.
Adidas is seeking that the sale and production of the alleged infringing shoes stop immediately and that all of these shoes be destroyed. Adidas is also seeking monetary damages. A representative for World Industries could not be reached and a representative of Big 5 had no comment.