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Adidas Sues Topline over Stripes and Shoe Designs

Adidas’ 3-stripe “Superstar” shoe (left)
and Topline’s allegedly infringing four-stripe shoe

On May 11, Adidas America, Inc., filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in the Western District against Bellevue-based shoe maker The Topline Corporation. Adidas alleges that Topline’s two- and four-stripe shoe designs infringe Adidas’ three-stripe design as well as the trade dress of Adidas’ “Superstar,” “Mei” and “Pranja” shoes.

Interestingly (to me at least), Adidas describes its “Superstar” shoe trade dress as including “a unique and non-functional combination of three stripes on the side of the shoe parallel to the equidistant small holes, a rubber ‘shell toe,’ a particularly flat sole and a colored portion on the outer back heel section.”

Topline has not yet answered Adidas’ complaint.

Adidas brought a similar trademark lawsuit against Payless Shoesource, Inc., in the District of Oregon, which last year resulted in a $305 million jury verdict in Adidas’ favor (later reduced to $65 million).

Topline is no stranger to the Western District. In 2007, it brought two trademark suits against competing shoe makers 4273371 Canada, Inc., Flurt Footwear, and a dozen others. (See STL posts on Topline’s cases from April 12, 2007, July 5, 2007, August 14, 2007, and Oct. 28, 2007.)

Given the parties’ litigious natures, this case will be case one to watch.

The case cite is Adidas America, Inc. v. The Topline Corporation, No. 09-646 (W.D. Wash.).

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