A federal jury in the US District Court, Oregon, has held that Payless ShoeSource, a discount shoe retailer, was liable almost $305 million in damages to Adidas. See Adidas America Inc v Payless ShoeSource Inc (Case 01-1655-KI, May 5 2008),
The Jury found Payless liable for infringement, dilution, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices with respect to adidas’s ‘three-stripe mark’.
Interestingly, the jury found liability for running shoes including either two or four parallel, equal-width stripes, not merely three stripes.
The actual damages awarded were $30,610,179. However, nearly ten times that amount was awarded for wilfully infringement, bad faith, malice, wanton and reckless disregard of Adidas’ rights and punitive damages.
Whereas Adidas three stripe inspired decorations on shoes is apparently unacceptable, even for two or four strips, the US District Court, Southern District New York, has held that use of the marks MR CHARBUCKS and MISTER CHARBUCKS does not dilute the trademark STARBUCKS under the Federal Trademark Dilution Act. See Starbucks Corp v Wolfe’s Borough Coffee Inc.