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Nike partially wins appeal over stripes dispute with Adidas in Germany

People walk past a Nike store in New York City,

BERLIN (Reuters) - Nike can put three stripes on some of its trouser designs in Germany, a court ruled on Tuesday, in a second appeal hearing pitting the U.S. sports apparel maker against its smaller rival Adidas.

The Duesseldorf regional court had already prohibited the U.S. firm from using two or three stripes on five of its trouser designs after Adidas filed a trademark violation lawsuit in 2022.

Nike can now use the stripes on four of the disputed models, while the ban for one remaining model remains in place, the court said, partially overturning the earlier decision.

The three parallel stripes are a well-known Adidas trademark that it works relentlessly to protect in various courtrooms around the world.

A year ago, however, the German brand decided to revoke its legal filing against Black Lives Matter's yellow three-stripe logo, concerned that its objection could be seen as criticism of the anti-racism organisation.

Nike claims Adidas' scope of protection is too narrow, saying that striped decoration doesn't necessarily relate to the brand it belongs to.

(Reporting by Andrey Sychev, Christina Amann and Helen Reid; Editing by Madeline Chambers)