Adidas wins big in trademark dispute

On Monday, an Oregan jury returned a verdict for Adidas awarding it damages of almost $305,000,000 in a trademark dispute against Kansas-based Collective Brands Inc., which operates Payless ShoeSource.

On Monday, an Oregon jury returned a verdict for Adidas awarding it damages of almost $305,000,000 in a trademark dispute against Kansas-based Collective Brands Inc., which operates Payless ShoeSource. The jury found that Payless had infringed Adidas' "Three Stripe Mark" and "Superstar" trade dress by selling shoes that bore confusingly similar marks. The jury also found Payless liable for unfair and deceptive trade practices and trademark dilution.

All told, the jury found Payless liable for over 250 different shoe designs. Below are a few of the shoe designs that the jury decided infringed Adidas' rights.

The jury awarded three different types of monetary damages to Adidas. First, it decided that Adidas was entitled to recover $30,610,179 in "actual damages," that is, the actual damage that Adidas suffered presumably through lost profits or dilution of its brand. Next the jury awarded Adidas an additional $137,003,578 that represented Payless's profits from the sale of the offending shoe designs. Finally, the jury determined that Payless had "acted with malice, or in wanton and reckless disregard of the rights of adidas" and awarded another $137,003,578 in punitive damages.

That's a total figure of $304,617,335, which to say the least is a remarkable number for this (or any) type of litigation.

According to a press release on the Collective Brands website: "Collective Brands, Inc. ("the Company") (NYSE: PSS) understands that a verdict of $305 million has been reached in the previously disclosed adidas matter pending in the federal court in Portland, Oregon. The Company is reviewing the verdict and assessing its impact. The Company believes that the verdict was excessive and unjustified. The Company will ask the court to set aside the verdict and, if it is not granted, intends to take all necessary steps to overturn it."

About the author

    Michael Valek is a lawyer at the law firm of Vinson & Elkins LLP. His primary area of practice is patent litigation. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants, and his clients run the gamut from giant corporations to individual inventors. Before entering private practice, Michael served as a law clerk to Judge Timothy B. Dyk of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Click here for Michael's official law firm bio. The postings on this site were created for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Disclaimer.

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Don't Miss
    Hot Products
    Trending on CNET

    HOT ON CNET

    Mac running slow?

    Boost your computer with these five useful tips that will clean up the clutter.