I explained earlier how German shoe company Adidas owns stripes. Now the hip shoemaker continues its Battle Against All Bands, emboldened by a $305 million verdict against the parent company of Payless ShoeSource. Last week, Adidas filed a lawsuit against five Los Angeles shoe sellers. Lead defendant Wah Lei Footwear received a letter insisting that it stop selling a particular shoe with four stripes, and warning it must stop selling "any other footwear bearing two, three, or four parallel stripes in a manner likely to be confused with the Three-Stripe Mark," according to a letter Adidas lawyers sent last year and attached to their complaint. (emphasis mine)
The Kilpatrick Stockton attorneys leading this putsch against parallelism revealed their legal theory in the July issue of IPLB ("Inside IP," not online).
"No one goes into a Payless store, tries on a four-striped shoe, buys it, goes home, opens it, and says 'Oh my gosh, this isn't Adidas,'" Adidas lawyer William Brewster said.