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Three Stripes and You’re Out? B.C. Court Issues an Interlocutory Injunction Against Adidas

March 15, 2024


Outdoor apparel company Arc'teryx Equipment successfully obtained an interlocutory injunction against Adidas Canada, restraining Adidas from using the name “TERREX” at one of its retail store locations in Kitsilano, Vancouver.

Arc'teryx claimed that, when Adidas opened its retail store in January 2023, just a few doors down from its longstanding Kitsilano storefront, “it wrongfully traded on the reputation and goodwill of the Arc'teryx brand and violated laws related to the protection of trademarks, passing off, and unfair competition.”

In addressing the British Columbia Supreme Court, Arc'teryx argued that it would suffer irreparable harm as a result of the confusing similarity of logos diverting casual customers from Arc'teryx to the Adidas store, if an interlocutory injunction was not granted.

While all other TERREX stores specify “Adidas” under the logo, only the Kitsilano location excludes the company name, Adidas, from its signage, and instead includes the company’s triangular logo with the three “Performance Bars” beside the word “TERREX.”

Arc'teryx claimed that the Performance Bars logo approximated the stylized “A” in its own branding, and caused confusion amongst customers who may read the signage as “A TERREX,” and that confusion would be exacerbated by the proximity of the two stores.

Arc'teryx owns a trademark that grants its retail and online store services exclusive use of the trademark ARC'TERYX in Canada, and submitted that once the distinctiveness of their trademark diminishes, it would be impossible to regain. The Court ran with much of Arc'teryx’s argument in rendering its decision.

As all other TERREX storefronts (and the Adidas website) specify “Adidas” under its Performance Bars logo, the Court limited the injunction to the Kitsilano storefront only. Justice Kent also put the parties on notice regarding the temporary nature of the interlocutory injunction, which hinges on actually proceeding to trial, stating “[i]t is not meant to be an excuse for the plaintiff to cease the pursuit of its lawsuit so that the interlocutory injunction might effectively become a permanent injunction.”


Authors: Ayesha Khanna and Kasia Donovan


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