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Allentown native Thom Browne wins stripe battle with Adidas

Fashion designer and Allentown native Thom Browne emerged from a New York courthouse this week to beat sportswear giant Adidas in an epic battle for signature stripes.

Browne told the Associated Press that his striped designs are preserved in luxury sportswear and accessories, hoping to inspire others challenged by larger clothing makers. Said there was

“It was important to fight and tell your story,” Brown said Thursday after a Manhattan federal court jury sided with him. They claimed it looked too similar to their own three-stripes pattern.

“And I think it’s more important and bigger than me, because I think I created something and was fighting for all the designers that came after the big companies,” he said. I got

In a statement, Adidas indicated that their battle could continue.

“We are disappointed by this ruling and will continue to exercise our intellectual property rights with caution, including through appropriate appeals,” Adidas spokesman Rich Ephras said in an email.

Brown, 57, a highly creative designer, The theater runway show is the younger brother of former state senator Pat Brown. was named Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary this week.

Tom Brown graduated from Allen High School in 1984 and worked in a New York fashion house before launching his own fashion label. He also designed the coat and dress that First Lady Michelle Obama wore at her 2013 presidential inauguration.

He started selling clothing in 2001 through a boutique in Manhattan’s West Village. He has achieved great success, especially after signing with the luxury brand Zegna in 2018. His company now has over 300 of his companies around the world, including Tokyo, London, Seoul, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Milan. is picked up at the location of

Adidas sued Braun in June 2021, accusing him of infringing on the company’s famous trademark, along with other products featuring parallel stripes on activewear such as t-shirts, sweatpants and hoodies. I said yes.

The two-week trial ended when eight jurors delivered their verdict within two hours. Brown’s courtroom supporters cheered before U.S. District Judge Jed Lakoff scolded them for violating court etiquette. Supporters then flooded the corridors, some celebrating with hugs and tears.

The controversy goes back 15 years. In 2007, Adidas complained that Brown was using a three-stripe design that looked too similar to his jacket, and Brown agreed to stop using it, changing to his four-stripes design. . For years, Adidas didn’t dispute it β€” but as Brown became more visible after the 2018 sale, he began expanding further into activewear, and the sportswear giant took notice.

Adidas argued in the lawsuit that the brown stripes could confuse customers.Browne argues that the two companies are not direct competitors and do not serve the same market. For example, the women’s compression tights on Braun’s website cost $725. On that company’s site, Adidas leggings cost her well under $100.

Jeff Trexler, a faculty member of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School, said that in a changing market where firms regularly expand into new categories in both content and price, and collaborate with other firms in specialized areas, trademark said the situation was becoming more sensitive. Whether it’s fashion or soda, more and more companies aren’t staying in their original lane, he said.

β€œIt’s like crossing a stream in Ghostbusters and everything blows up,” says Trexler.

As long as Brown used stripes “on men’s sport coats, narrow luxury goods, and even sweatpants,” they never crossed the river. But the tides crossed as he ventured into the activewear arena.

Brown himself testified during the trial, pointing out the importance of sports in his life and how it affected his career.

The former competitive swimmer said outside the court that he grew up playing tennis, while others in his extended family enjoyed basketball, baseball and soccer.

“So it’s very authentic to who I am,” he said. “That’s what inspires me every day as to what I do.”

He counts many professional athletes among his friends and clients, and considers them “a great inspiration”.

Trexler said Brown’s attorneys were successful in convincing the jury that Brown was an underdog.

“In short, Thom Browne’s attorneys forced the jury to view the case as The People v. The Corporation, and Populism won,” he said after the verdict.

Brown hopes the fight in court will be his last.

“I just want to design a collection and never go to court again,” he said.

Morning Call reporter Anthony Salamon contributed to this report.

https://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-nws-allentown-fashion-designer-thom-browne-adidas-20230114-546kimmtf5c4hi4ckbykso3chi-story.html#ed=rss_www.mcall.com/arcio/rss/category/news/local/ Allentown native Thom Browne wins stripe battle with Adidas

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