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Lawsuit of the Week: Arc’teryx accuses Adidas of trademark infringement

Vancouver company concerned about logos, retail location
The B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver | Rob Kruyt, BIV

The parent company of popular North Vancouver recreation apparel brand Arc’teryx is suing Adidas Canada Ltd. (Adidas) over trademark infringement for its Terrex-branded retail stores.

Amer Sports Canada Inc. filed a notice of civil claim against Adidas Feb. 13 seeking an injunction against the latter company using the Terrex brand for both its brick-and-mortar retail stores and online stores.

Specifically, the lawsuit notes Adidas opened a Terrex-branded store at 2235 Fourth W. Ave. in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood, with the store’s grand opening held on Jan. 21 and Jan. 22 of this year.

The lawsuit claims Adidas’s use of the Terrex brand has “directed public attention to its services and business in such a way as to cause, or likely to cause, confusion in Canada with the services and business of Arc’teryx.”

Founded in 1989, Amer Sports Canada now operates 24 Arc’teryx stores across Canada – including five in Vancouver and one each in Whistler and Victoria – after opening its first retail store in 1999, according to the lawsuit.

One of those stores is located at 2201 W. Fourth Ave. in the Kitsilano area, just a couple of blocks away from the Adidas-owned Terrex store and in an area “generally known as the go-to area to shop for outdoor apparel and products,” Arc’teryx stated.

“Arc’teryx has developed significant good will in the Arc’teryx mark. The Arc’teryx mark is highly distinctive of Arc’teryx, and consumers recognize it as a premier source of outdoor apparel and equipment. The Arc’teryx mark enjoys a strong reputation among consumers for high-quality products and services,” reads the lawsuit.

“Arc’teryx has invested substantial sums of money in developing and promoting its retail store services under the Arc’teryx mark.”

Arc’teryx claims the Adidas store “deliberately omitted” any reference to the Adidas brand, in contrast to the other stores the company owns and operates in the Vancouver area.

“Rather, Adidas chose to use a triangular symbol, like a stylized letter ‘A,’ in front of the word Terrex. The result of Adidas’s design choice is signage that resembles ‘A Terrex,’” reads the lawsuit.

The “triangular symbol” referenced is the Adidas logo.

Arc’teryx further claims Adidas knew or should have known of the proximity of its new store to the Arc’teryx store and deliberately chose its signage in such a way to “reasonably create the inference that Adidas intentionally sought to create consumer confusion between the Terrex store and the Arc’teryx brand.”

In particular, the company claims the new Adidas-owned store has or will cause loss of customers and revenue, along with damage to its brand and reputation.

On top of an injunction against Adidas using the Terrex branding on its stores, Arc’teryx is seeking damages against Adidas, including costs for profits it allegedly wrongfully made through the Terrex store.