Earning Their Stripes? : PITJ Articles

Earning Their Stripes?

by Pride In The Jersey on 12/21/11

Irish sportswear company O'Neills regularly adorn their garments with a three-striped design, which is usually the sole preserve of German giants adidas. Action was taken by adidas against O'Neills in 1980 in a bid to stop them using the three stripes and, when that case was lost, O'Neills also won when adidas appealed in 1982.


Every so often, the question pops up on various internet forums, with a range of different answers proferred, such as O'Neills claiming that they actually had five stripes (counting the two in between the three), O'Neills saying that if they lost they'd go out of business and the court being lenient, or that adidas and O'Neills were in partnership and that when it ended, O'Neills were allowed to retain the design. 

In fact, the simple truth is that O'Neills were not considered to be passing off their garments as adidas ones and that is why the court found in their favour. Here, we reproduce various newspaper articles from that period.

Comments (1)

1. Wayward Effort said on 12/23/11 - 11:15PM
Really enjoyed this post, the use of three stripes by O'Neill's has been something I have wondered about for a while. The news reports of the court cases are really interesting to read.


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