German Court Sides with Puma in Adidas Patent Dispute

A German court isn’t going to let Adidas block rival Puma from releasing a pair of sneakers which it claims are too similar to its own Boost line.

The two footwear giants have been locked in a legal battle regarding the release of Puma’s “NRGY” line of sneakers, which Adidas claims is too similar to its Boost sneakers.

Both companies previously worked with German chemicals firm BASF to produce a new type of foam polyurethane for use in running shoes. In 2011, BASF signed an exclusive deal with Adidas, giving them sole access to the foam technology, and using it to launch their popular Boost series of shoes in 2013. Adidas sold 10 million pairs of the shoe in 2015, according to Fortune.

Forced to look for a new partner for its foam shoes, Puma teamed with Huntsman Corp, a U.S. based company, in 2014, and launched its “NRGY” line last year.

Before a regional court in Duesseldorf rejected Adidas’ claims on Tuesday, the company had been fighting for an injunction to stop Puma from selling its “NRGY” sneakers.

“Puma tried to show Adidas with this case that even though we are smaller, we will not give in that easily. We will fight for our rights,” Neil Narriman, Puma head of intellectual property, told Reuters.

An Adidas spokeswoman said the firm did not agree with the court decision and would review its next steps. “We will continue to vigorously protect our rights and will continue to take action in case of infringements,” she said.

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