Three-Stripe Trademark Vs. Three-Bone Trademark

Three-Stripe Trademark vs. Three-Bone Trademark

Adidas, is one of the world's largest manufacturers of sports goods, has filed an opposition against the trademark application which covers the denomination of ‘adidog’ to be used on clothing for dogs in Japan based on Article 4(1)(xv)[1] of the Japan Trademark Law, which prohibits the registration of a trademark that is likely to cause confusion amongst consumers as to the source of products bearing the mark.

Not surprisingly the Japan Patent Office accepted the opposition, thereby, rejected the “adidog” trademark application. It should be noted that EUIPO Opposition Division has also rejected the same trademark application after the opposition of adidas for all the goods.[2] However, the applicant has not abandoned his aim and filed another trademark application for trademark application with the shape of three-bone trademark this time.

Surprisingly, the Japan Patent Office decided that the shape of three-bone trademark did not infringe the trademark rights of adidas and rejected the opposition of adidas. However, adidas won the appeal against a subject trademark application which was filed for the products for pets. The decision expresses that the logos are very similar and the adidas’ three-stripe trademark is also very well-known.

Three-Stripe Trademark vs. Three-Bone Trademark

It is also noted that the products which is going to be used or using under the trademark "Adidog" are not significantly different from the products manufactured and sold by adidas. These decisions once again reveal the strength of well-known trademark. As a matter of fact, even if the products covered are not the same by the well-known trademark, the scope of the well-known trademark is evaluated wider and subsequent confusingly similar trademark applications are rejected.

 [1] Chapter 13: Article 4(1)(xv) (Confusion over the source of goods and services)

[2] EUIPO Opposition Division First instance, Opposition No B 2 420 910, 15-09-2015

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