A stripe more or a stripe less?

Thom Browne may have escaped consequences for the extra stripe in the Adidas matter, but this might really be an exception to the rule

Sandeep Goyal

Last week, Adidas lost a hard fought trademark dispute over its striped design signature against Zegna-owned American designer brand, Thom Browne. The sportswear giant argued that luxury brand Thom Browne Inc’s four stripes were too similar to its famous, and globally recognised, three stripes. The courts disagreed.
Browne’s designs often feature four horizontal, parallel stripes, encircling the arm of a garment — in fact, they are frequently seen on the creator Thom Browne himself, who invariably sports a sock with the four stripes under dispute.
Designer Browne testified in front of an eight-person jury at Manhattan’s Southern District Court that his love of sports inspired his use of “varsity stripes”. He said he wanted to create an “external signifier” that would render his label immediately recognisable. This led him to the three stripes usually featured on varsity sweaters and collegiate pieces.
Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

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First Published: Jan 20 2023 | 10:45 PM IST

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