Positiemerk Asics
Left position mark Asics, right the Italians

What is a position mark?

With a position mark you actually claim a combination of two elements: a certain image (1) applied to a specific spot (2) on a product. Well-known examples of position marks are Levi’s red tab on the pocket of jeans, adidas’ three stripe on the side of training trousers and the blue front tire on Swap bike.

Positiemerk Levi Swapfiets Adidas
Position marks: red tab on pocket jeans, blue front tire bike, three stripe in specific spot on sportswear


Asics has also had its famous stripes motif on a sports shoe registered as a position mark in Europe in 2020. According to EUIPO, this is a well-known trademark with a great reputation. And that makes for a broad scope of protection.


EUIPO therefore notes that consumers will make a link between the Italians’ brand and Asics’ well-known position trademark. The Italians are just trying to get a piece of the Asics brand’s reputation and that is not allowed, EUIPO said.

Positiemerk Sketchers

Positiemerk ICE
Protected position marks: wave in sole of shoe (Sketchers), FF image on corner of a bag, label on table and stripe on a train


Position marks

Position marks are still relatively unknown. Nevertheless, many companies use this type of sign to distinguish their products. However, they often do not realize that you can also register such a distinctive sign as a trademark. Above are some more examples of position marks registered in Europe.

Bas Kist


Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash