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Logo first registered on a football boot in 1949 was not ‘distinctive’ enough, says court

Adidas has been unsuccessful in an attempt to expand its trademark three-stripe design in the EU after a court ruled it was not “distinctive” enough.

The company did not “prove that that mark has acquired, throughout the territory of the EU, distinctive character following the use which had been made of it”, the general court of the EU said on Wednesday.

The three-stripe logo was first registered by Adidas’s founder, Adi Dassler, on a football boot on 18 August 1949, but the court said it was not sufficient to identify the products as originating from the brand.

The ruling is part of a long-running dispute between the German sportswear manufacturer and the Belgian company Shoe Branding Europe.

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