adidas’ iconic three-stripe trademark is one of the most familiar trademarks in soccer as well as the larger fashion and apparel industry and the German-based company filed a trademark infringement claim against FC Barcelona with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last week.
The infringement claim contends that Barcelona’s request to trademark its own seven-stripe trademark for paper goods, clothing, footwear, headgear, and other sports equipment is too similar to its own trademark and would be confusing to customers stating in their claim, ‘(Barca seven-stripe trademark) incorporates parallel stripes in a manner confusingly similar to the Three-Stripe Mark in appearance and overall commercial impression.’
According to Fashion Law, the trademark infringement claim will be reviewed and decided on by the USPTO. This is part of the normal trademark approval process whereby new requests for trademark approvals are posted publicly in the Official Gazette so any company with an infringement claim can request it be denied.
Barcelona filed to register the seven-stripe mark in May of 2015 and it was posted of the Official Gazette earlier this year.
The infringement claim will be resolved off the field but will have the buzz of a major European final on the field with Nike serving as Barcelona’s technical sponsor and recently extending their contract with the club.