Wednesday, May 6, 2015

CAT dismisses complaint of Adidas against Nike as latter had taken permission of ICC to use Sachin’s name on T-shirts


Where pursuant to sponsorship agreement with International Cricket Association Nike was permitted to use names of cricketers including Sachin Tendulkar on its sports products for purpose of advertising, it could not be said that Nike had violated separate agreement between Adidas and Tendulkar entered for advertising Adidas sports product; unfair trade practice could not be alleged

Facts:

a)The complainant-company Adidas and the respondent-company Nike were engaged in business of manufacturing, distributing and selling quality footwear, sports equipments and other products and were competitors in the market.

b)The Complainant's brand, i.e., Adidas was endorsed by Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar pursuant to an agreement between both parties.

c)Later on, Nike signed an agreement for sponsorship and supply of footwear, apparel and related cricketing accessories with International Cricket Association and sold T-shirts bearing names of various members of Indian Cricket Team including Sachin Tendulkar’s

d)Accordingly, Adidas filed complaint alleging unfair and restrictive trade practice indulged by Nike.

The Competition Appellate Tribunal held as under:

1)Since sponsorship and licence agreement entered between Nike and Cricket association permitted former to use name of members of cricket team for purpose of advertising in different ways, same did not amount to unfair trade practice

2)The products such as T-shirts and Tees manufactured by Nike did not violate agreement entered between Adidas and Tendulkar; hence, Nike could not be held to have indulged in any unfair trade practice and, thus, complaint was to be dismissed - ADIDAS INDIA MARKETING (P.) LTD. V. NIKE INDIA (P.) LTD. [2015] 56 TAXMANN.COM 344 (CAT)
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