With the above particular two stripes (de)sign, used on aerobic outfits, sold in the Netherlands in 1997, H&M – who I represent in this matter as attorney-at-law since 1997 – did not infringe the three stripes trademarks invoked by Adidas, as the District Court The Hague had held they did in its decision of 8 november 2017 in proceedings on the merits between Adidas and H&M, pending since 1997. Yesterday the Court of Appeal (Judges S.J. Schaafsma, A.D. Kiers-Becking and C.J.J.J. van Nispen) annulled said decision of the District Court and rejected the claims of Adidas. The decision which came as a surprise, because it was scheduled for 11 February 2020, is currently only available in Dutch at the official website of the Dutch judiciary, see this link: https://uitspraken.rechtspraak.nl/inziendocument?id=ECLI:NL:GHDHA:2020:72. An English translation might come available soon
Of course my congratulations with this important decision in appeal (which is still subject to cassation at the Hoge Raad, the Dutch Supreme Court) go first of all to H&M and Björn Norberg, who I am delighted and privileged to work with. Special word of thanks also for Erik Knijnenburg and Ron Crombaghs, on board of the case in the very beginning. The journey in this case now goes on for 23 years. Yesterday when the decision came in, those 23 years in this unique case, crossed my mind in a flash. Unfortunetaly I was not able to do the case before the District Court The Hague due to personal circumstances. So many things happened. Good things, bad things, but the good things prevail. Thanks H&M, thanks Björn Norberg, for keeping the faith. Trying to obtain and striving for fairness is a Great Thing. You gotta keep the faith.
Gino van Roeyen