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January 1, 2005 Vol. 60 No. 1 Back to Bulletin Main Page

SPAIN: Alcampo Sentenced for Infringing ADIDAS Three Stripe Trademark and Copying ADIDAS Design


On November 4, 2004, the First Instance Court no. 58 of Madrid, Spain, declared final and enforceable a previous judgment of September 6, 2004, sentencing Alcampo (the Spanish subsidiary of the French retail chain Auchan) for the importation and sale of its LONGWAY training shoes.

In this case, the LONGWAY training shoes imported by Alcampo bore three stripes, which were very similar to the three stripes registered as a trademark by adidas and almost identical to the three stripes in the ADIDAS GRIND 2 shoe.

The Court considered that the importation and sale of the LONGWAY product amounted to (i) infringement of the ADIDAS three stripe trademark and (ii) unfair competition.

As far as trademark infringement was concerned, the Court considered that the three stripe trademark of adidas (three stripes in a slanting position on either side of the training shoe) was a well-known trademark.

As a result, the Court stated that it is not necessary for the similarity between the sign and the trademark to lead consumers to confusion, but it is enough that the consumer, without likelihood of confusion, should make a link between the trademark and the sign or simply that the trademark may be diluted.

The Court declared that Alcampo had unduly exploited adidas’s reputation and its efforts made to create the ADIDAS GRIND 2 shoe. Indeed, regardless of the use of the three stripes, the LONGWAY product has a very similar overall appearance to the GRIND 2 shoe, and for this reason, the Court stated that the defendant committed unfair competition in addition to trademark infringement.

Following the declarations of trademark infringement and unfair competition, Alcampo was ordered to cease the infringing acts, pay damages and publish the judgment in two national newspapers.




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