World success with three stripes in Bern

The match of 4 July 1954 went down in football history as the ‘Miracle of Bern’: the West German football team won the FIFA World Cup 1954 with a score of 3:2 against the big favourite, Hungary, in Wankdorf Stadium. An event that’s closely linked with the history of Adidas and Puma and their founders Adolf and Rudolf Dassler.

The match of 4 July 1954 went down in football history as the ‘Miracle of Bern’. West Germany beat Hungary 3:2 at the FIFA World Cup in Bern (Copyright IGE).
The match of 4 July 1954 went down in football history as the ‘Miracle of Bern’. West Germany beat Hungary 3:2 at the FIFA World Cup in Bern (Copyright IGE).

In the 1920s, Adolf and Rudolf Dassler jointly ran the Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler brothers’ shoe factory), which had its head office and production facilities in Herzogenaurach (Germany). The manufacturing business prospered, soon celebrating its first successes. For example, the US athlete Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games wearing shoes made by Dassler.


Two brothers, two companies, two brands

After World War II, the two brothers fell out. Twenty-eight years after founding their joint business, they decided to go their separate ways, not only in their private lives, but also in business. Adolf Dassler continued to run the family company. Based on his name, he founded the Adi Dassler adidas Schuhfabrik (shoe factory) in 1949. In the same year, Rudolf Dassler registered a company in the West German commercial register with the name PUMA Schuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler (PUMA Shoe Factory Rudolf Dassler). PUMA was Rudolf Dassler’s nickname from his student days.


World success with three stripes in Bern in 1954

From the 1950s onwards, both sports manufacturers became increasingly active internationally. Adidas was West Germany’s supplier when it won the 1954 World Cup final against Hungary in Wankdorf Stadium. The players’ shoes featured the three famous Adidas stripes. Rudolf Dassler congratulated his brother on his World Cup success by leaving him a message in the changing room of the Bern stadium with the words ‘You did everything right’. However, the rivalry between the brothers continued. It divided the family and the town of Herzogenaurach into two irreconcilable camps until the deaths of Adolf and Rudolf. The town is still home to the headquarters of Adidas and Puma today.


Stripes to stabilise the shoe and foot

Like Adidas, Puma also developed a highly recognisable stripe element over the course of its corporate history: the ‘formstrip’, which it registered with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office in 1958. This stripe is attached to the side of the sports shoes, as with the Adidas stripes, and tapers from a wider, three-part end to a narrower tip at the back of the shoe. Neither Adidas nor Puma originally used the familiar striped elements purely for decorative purposes: they were designed to stabilise the shoe and foot.


Trade mark applications in Switzerland via the Madrid system

In addition to the two stripe elements – and the word elements Adidas and Puma – recurring image and word elements can still be found in the trade mark registrations of the two sports manufacturers. Adidas uses the trefoil (since 1971) above all, while Puma’s ‘No 1 Logo’ in particular, dating from 1968, is world famous: it features a puma jumping over the top-right corner of the Puma lettering. Both sports shoe manufacturers have registered well over 100 trade marks in Switzerland since the 1950s. In addition to trade marks for sports and leisure shoes (Class 25), they’ve also submitted trade marks for goods in Classes 18 (e.g. leather goods) and 28 (e.g. footballs) in particular, but also in Classes 3 (e.g. polishing agents for leather and shoes), 9 (e.g. protective clothing) and 14 (e.g. watches). Most word, combined word/figurative marks and position marks are protected in Switzerland as international registrations via the Madrid system.


The Madrid System

Within the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), more than 125 countries and regional organisations have agreed to a centralised procedure known as the Madrid System, which simplifies the administrative process for registering trade marks. This means that as the owner of a Swiss trade mark, you can also benefit from this if you want to protect your trade mark in other countries.


With one single application in just one language, you can apply to register your trade mark in as many of the contracting states as you like. Your trade mark application will then be examined by the individual countries in question. If it’s approved, you’ll have the same protection as you would by registering your trade mark in the respective national trade mark office of each of these countries individually.

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