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EU top court rules on Adidas trademark case

The European Union (EU)'s highest court ruled that two-stripe imitations could infringe Adidas' famous trademark of three stripes, but it was up to national courts to decide.

“The national court must determine whether the average consumer may be mistaken as to the origin of sports and leisure garments featuring stripe motifs in the same places and with the same characteristics as the stripes motif of Adidas,” the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice (ECJ) said in its ruling.

Adidas, the world's second-largest sporting-goods maker, had brought a case against several retailers in the Netherlands before Dutch courts, trying to prevent them from selling sports clothing with similar stripes.

However, Marca Mode and other retailers argued that they are free to place two stripes on their sports and leisure garments for decorative purposes.

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands later asked the ECJ for legal advice on the case. (Xinhua)