May 31, 2017
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Art Basel sues Adidas over the brand's Art Basel sneaker

May 31, 2017

Art Basel is suing the German sportswear company for trademark infringement. During 2016’s Art Basel Miami, Adidas released an “Art Basel” edition of its EQT ADV 91-16 sneaker, which the art festival says is an unauthorized use of the Art Basel trademark.

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In a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Art Basel says Adidas’s distribution of 1,000 of the Art Basel-branded shoes represents a federal trademark infringement. The art festival organization says it has licensed its name to companies such as BMW and Audemar Piguet watches, but never granted permission to Adidas to use its name.
Adidas released the limited edition version of its EQT ADV 91-16 sneaker featuring the Art Basel name in November 2016. Just 1,000 pairs of the shoe were created and given out for free at an event.

Art Basel alleges that Adidas has been able to continue to profit of its use of the Art Basel name, without obtaining license to do so. In the lawsuit Art Basel alleges that Adidas should have known the shoes would imply a relationship between the brands, as the sportswear company has created sponsored gear for high-profile events such as the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship. 

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