Sportswear company Puma has lost its appeal in a trademark infringement case brought against South African footwear importer and distributor Global Warming, according to reports.

Puma had brought the case alleging trademark infringement of a tapering form strip device used on its footwear, arguing that a mark used by Global Warming was "confusingly similar" to its own device.

However, Global Warming countered that the shoes in question featured a distinctive split down the middle of the mark, distinguishing it from the Puma device.

South Africa's Cape High Court had earlier ruled that there were significant distinguishing features between the two marks, adding that the average buyer would be able to tell the difference between the two brands.

Puma appealed against the decision, but now South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal has agreed with the High Court ruling and dismissed the appeal.

Puma failed to respond to just-style requests for comment.