German athletic apparel maker Adidas-Salomon AG has filed a lawsuit accusing US clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co of "passing off its goods as those of Adidas."

The lawsuit, filed in Portland, Ore, centres on the three stripes that are associated with Adidas products and appear on trousers and jackets being sold in Abercrombie stores.

Adidas said in the lawsuit that copies are "causing irreparable harm to the goodwill symbolized by the three-stripe mark and the reputation for quality that it embodies."

"This is particularly damaging to the uniqueness of the Adidas brand and Adidas's ability to control the public perception of its brand."

According to Bloomberg News, the company wants to block sales of the striped clothing, destroy existing merchandise and makes Abercrombie pay damages.