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Oregon Jury Awards $305 Million to Adidas for Payless Shoe Infringement

On May 5, a nine-person jury in the District of Oregon found Payless Shoesource, Inc., liable for infringing Adidas America, Inc.’s three-stripe trademark and awarded Adidas $305 million. The jury found Payless infringed or diluted Adidas’ mark or trade dress by using a two- and four-stripe logo on its competing athletic shoes. Trial lasted 14 days. The jury deliberated for two days. 

An attorney representing Adidas said he thought it was the biggest verdict in a trademark infringement case ever. Collective Brands Inc., which operates Payless and Stride Right stores, said the award was “excessive and unjustified” and vowed to have it set aside or overturn.

An excerpt from the jury verdict form showing Payless’ shoes.
“Yes” indicates infringement.

From the jury verdict form:

“Section III.  Monetary Recovery

8) State the amount of actual damages that should be awarded to adidas, if any.


9) Do you find that Payless acted willfully or in bad faith with regard to any of the claims in Question Nos. 1-7 above for which you answered ‘Yes’?

   X    Yes                No

10) If you answered ‘Yes’ to Question No. 9, state the amount of Payless’s profits that should be awarded to adidas, if any.


11) Concerning a possible award of punitive damages, do you find that Payless has acted with malice, or in wanton and reckless disregard of the rights of adidas, or if deterrence is called for and Payless’s conduct is particularly aggravated?

   X    Yes                No

12) If you answered ‘Yes’ to Question No. 11, state the amount of punitive damages that should be awarded to adidas, if any.


The docket entry describes the result as follows: MINUTES OF SIXTEENTH DAY OF JURY TRIAL - Completed. Jury deliberations conclude. 9 juror lunches ordered from the Lotus Cafe. Jury verdict returned in favor of the Plaintiff. Jury polled and discharged. (See Verdict and Clerk’s List of Witnesses).

Gotta love the court’s “just the facts, ma’am” style.

Wow, what a result!

The case cite is Adidas America, Inc. v. Payless Shoesource, Inc., No. 01-1655 (King, J.).

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Reader Comments (2)

Reading the jury verdict form revealed an interesting, though minor, point. The judge sent the state dilution claims to the jury despite the fact that (a) they are only for injunctive relief, and (b) the judge (unless I'm misremembering something) held that they were preempted.
May 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Welkowitz
Does anyone know, whether the question of 'trademark use' has been an issue in the proceedings of Adidas v Payless? In European trade mark law, the question of trademark use, i. e. use of the 'three-stripes' trade mark as indication as to the source, is always discussed, when a trade mark is used in some sort of decorative way (cf. ECJ, 23 Oct 2003, C-408/01, Adidas v Fitnessworld).
May 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick Horsch

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