November 2019. 2 ≠ 3. Two stripes won’t be confused with three stripes. That’s essentially the argument with which the Japan Patent Office rejected an opposition by adidas against a new trademark application by Marubeni Footwear.
Adidas argued that consumers would confuse Marubeni’s two-stripe image mark with its own world-famous three-stripe mark. Adidas based its claim on numerous trademark registrations it had taken out in Japan.
Marubeni’s device mark and Adidas’ numerous trademark registrations
But while the Opposition Department accepted that the adidas stripe mark enjoyed a high degree of reputation and popularity, it nevertheless stated that consumers who bought the shoes would not confuse the two-stripe mark for the adidas three-stripe mark. Although if that were really the case, why do so many companies try to get so close to the adidas logo?