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Adidas-Salomon AG v. Target Corporation

228 F. Supp. 2d 1192 (2002)

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Adidas-Salomon AG v. Target Corporation

United States District Court for the District of Oregon

228 F. Supp. 2d 1192 (2002)

Facts

Adidas-Salomon AG (Adidas) (plaintiff), an international manufacturer of sporting goods, sold the Original Superstar shoe. Target Corporation (Target) (defendant), a national department store, sold shoes with features that bore imitations of some elements of the Original Superstar shoe to the same class of purchasers. Adidas filed an action in the district court against Target, claiming trade-dress infringement of its Original Superstar shoe in violation of the Lanham Trade-Mark Act. Adidas argued that Target copied the Original Superstar shoe’s trade-dress elements, including the trademark diagonal three stripes on the side, the flat sole, the shell toe, and the heel patch. Target filed a motion to dismiss the trade-dress-infringement claim, which the district court converted to a summary-judgment motion. A magistrate judge made findings and recommended the denial of Target’s motion for summary judgment. The district court reviewed the magistrate’s determination. Target objected to the magistrate’s findings, arguing that the functional elements of the Original Superstar shoe were not protectable as trade-dress features under the Lanham Trade-Mark Act. Target claimed that the functionality doctrine allowed competitors to replicate important non-reputation-related product features. Adidas argued that Target copied protectable elements of the Original Superstar shoe that had acquired distinctiveness and a secondary meaning through unsolicited media references and musical rap lyrics identifying the trade dress, particularly the shell toe, with Adidas.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Redden, J.)

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