Stripping Out a Stripe Avoids Infringement

Three is a powerful number.  Good things come in 3's; third time's the charm; religions, governments, and literary works are filled with 3's.  Even our days (morning, noon, and night) and our psyches (id, ego, superego) are frequently divided into 3. 

Three, however, is not always greater than 2 -- at least when the 3 in question is adidas' famous 3-stripe logo.  According to WWD, an Italian court recently declared void all adidas trademark registrations within Italy involving only 2 stripes and thus absolved Dolce & Gabbana of any future liability for using 2-stripe decorations on various articles of apparel, at least in its home market.   This contrasts with an earlier German decision holding that a D&G trouser design incorporating 2 stripes created a likelihood of confusion with adidas' trademark, as well as with recent U.S. cases in which adidas successfully claimed that using 2 stripes on athletic shoes constituted infringement. 

DolceGabbana_v_adidas.jpgThe work of the 3 Furies, perhaps?

Related posts:  Parallel Lines, adidas v. Payless: 3 Stripes, You're Out