Marketing expert witness Gabriele Goldaper writes that there are BIG BUCKS IN STRIPES! She represented a leading sports apparel manufacturer which sought a declaratory judgment to allow them to continue to use stripes on their athletic apparel. The defendant took the position that stripes were a part of their trademarked logo and could not be used on any other sports apparel. The particular logo at issue had three stripes, spaced evenly apart. The apparel maker for whom she was rendering an opinion was using stripes, not three stripes and not similarly evenly spaced apart for their line of athletic wear.
Goldaper argued that stripes have been used well before manufacturers were making sports related apparel. As an example we saw early in our history, slaves and prisoners clothed in garments with lots of horizontal stripes. She provided extensive information and documentation of examples to support her opinion that the use of stripes has been associated with sports and athletic apparel since the development of this category of clothing. In the Olympic games in the early twentieth century we saw runners and hurdlers, males and females, wearing shorts and tops with stripes on them. The use of stripes in athletic sportswear was seen well before either the plaintiff or defendants started to produce this category of clothing.