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Brazilian court affirms that the sale by Adidas of t-shirts with the colors green and yellow does not constitute unfair competition

According to a recent decision1 issued by judge Paulo Assed Estefan, of the 4th Business Court of Rio de Janeiro, Adidas may sell yellow shirts with green collars, which supposedly resemble the uniform used by the Brazilian soccer team, officially sponsored by Nike.

The lawsuit was filed by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) against Adidas, seeking to suspend the sale of such t-shirts based on arguments of unfair competition and unjust enrichment.

However, the judge denied the preliminary injunction request, holding that an illegal act would require the t-shirts to bear other official symbols, and not a mere allusion to the Brazilian soccer team. According to the court, the colors green and yellow may be used without limitations by anyone due to the patriotic feeling existing among the Brazilian population. The judge also pointed out that there would be no risk of consumer confusion because the Adidas’ shirt reproduced the Adidas trademark on the chest area, in addition to a coat of arms different from the one inserted in CBF’s official shirt.

The decision is subject to appeal.

1Lawsuit No. 0146695-51.2019.8.19.0001