IP / legal / Trademarks / US Fashion / US Law

WWD: Forever 21 is biting nails and seeing stripes

Forever 21 has had enough of Adidas’ enforcement of its three-stripe trademark and has gone so far as label Adidas as a “trademark bully”. Forever 21 believes that Adidas has taken its trademark too far and made it an infringement for a brand to have any stripes, of any number and kind, on its garments. This is based on Adidas’ suing of brands that use two stripes, or four stripes, and in categories where Adidas does not even produce.

But let’s take a step back in time. This is not the first time Forever 21 and Adidas have come head-to-head. Back in 2015, the two parties settled over trademark infringement claims. It seems apparent that the air has not yet cleared. Forever 21 is asking for the court to determine whether its garments infringe Adidas’ three strip trademark. Given Adidas’ zealous stance on protecting its stripes, it is likely not an easy battle.

On a completely opposite spectrum for Forever 21, the company has also filed a trademark suit against a Florida nail salon that has the same name as the brand. Forever 21 “alleges that the nail salon is using Forever 21’s trademark-protected name with knowledge of the fame and reputation of the Forever 21 trademarks with the purpose of usurping such rights and to willfully and intentionally confuse, mislead and deceive members of the public.”

It seems the tables have turned. Brands like Forever 21 and Zara, who are often on the negative end of infringement claims, are now calling out those who are using their trademarks illegally.



Above Image: Forever 21 use of stripes in 2015

adidas2Above Image: Adidas (left) and Marc Jacob (right) stripes on jacket


Source: WWD Law Review: Forever 21 v. Adidas — and a Nail Salon – WWD

Featured Image: https://www.endclothing.com/ca/adidas-stripes-slogan-zip-hoody-bq3539.html

In-text images: http://www.thefashionlaw.com/home/adidas-settles-suits-with-marc-jacobs-and-forever-21