When it comes to scope of rights and trademark enforcement, as a trademark type, it’s hard not to admire Adidas’ success in preventing the use of two, three, and four stripes, when its long-standing federally-registered design mark consists of three stripes.

At least in the U.S., Adidas appears to have gained a one stripe buffer on either side of its powerful three stripe iconic symbol, so advocates for Adidas might say 2, 3, or 4 stripes, and you’re out (of luck anyway).

(For some great coverage on Adidas’ recent trademark enforcement activities, check out Seattle Trademark Lawyer).

How can it be then (within the hospitality industry), that no analogous buffer exists between 4&5, Motel 6, Big 7 MotelBel-Air Motel 7, Big 7 Motel (Chula Vista, California), Big 7 Motel (Valdosta, Georgia), Magnificent Seven, Seven Days, Super 8, and National 9 Inn, with them all happily coexisting (apparently) without any likelihood of confusion?

(Also, how can it be that Super 8 (apparently) doesn’t control the Super8Inn.com domain?)

Perhaps it all comes down to what your trademark strength and likelihood of confusion analysis happens to count, stripes or numbers . . . .