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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Adidas Says Black Lives Matter Design Contravenes Three-Stripe Trademark

Since 2008, sneaker giant Adidas has filed over 90 lawsuits

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

UNITED STATES: Adidas AG (ADSGn.DE), a sneaker giant, has asked the U.S. Trademark Office to deny a request for a “Black Lives Matter” trademark with three parallel stripes, contending it could deceive the public.

In a Monday filing, Adidas told the office that the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Inc.’s yellow-stripe logo would create perplexity for its own renowned three-stripe logo. It sought to deny the group’s request to use the design on products that the German sportswear manufacturer also sells, including shirts, bags, and hats.

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Adidas refused to respond to the filing. The Black Lives Matter group’s representative didn’t immediately answer a request for comment on Tuesday.

Adidas stated in the filing that it has been using its logo since 1952 and that it has achieved “international fame and tremendous public recognition.”

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Since 2008, sneaker giant Adidas has filed over 90 lawsuits and signed more than 200 settlement deals relating to the three-stripe trademark, as per court records from a lawsuit the firm filed against the fashion house of designer Thom Browne.

A juror in that case determined in January that Thom Browne’s stripe designs did not infringe upon Adidas’ trademark rights.

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The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is the most eminent organisation in the decentralised Black Lives Matter movement, which emerged decades ago to demonstrate police brutality against black people. 

In November 2020, the group submitted a federal trademark application for a yellow three-stripe pattern to be used on a range of goods, including apparel, publications, bracelets, bags, and mugs.

In its Monday filing, Adidas stated that the group’s design was confusingly identical to its logo and that customers might think their products were related or originated from the same source.

The Black Lives Matter organisation was given until May 6 by the Trademark Office to respond.

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