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."