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Adidas Backs Down From Its Stance Against The Black Lives Matter Three-Stripe Design

Adidas Backs Down From Its Stance Against The Black Lives Matter Three-Stripe Design
After urging the USPTO to deny a Black Lives Matter application for a trademark with three parallel stripes on Tuesday, sportswear manufacturer Adidas AG changed its mind on Wednesday.
"Adidas will withdraw its opposition to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation's trademark application as soon as possible," the company said in a statement.
According to a source close to the company, the swift about-face was brought on by worry that Adidas' trademark objection might be interpreted as disapproval of Black Lives Matter's goals.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation's yellow-stripe design is so similar to Adidas' well-known three-stripe mark that it is "likely to cause confusion," the company claimed in a trademark filing on Monday.
It tried to deny the group's request to use the design on items like shirts, hats, and bags that the German sportswear manufacturer also sells.
After Kanye West's lucrative Yeezy shoe deal was terminated due to his antisemitic remarks on social media and in interviews, Adidas is in financial trouble.
Media reports state that the sportswear company has also canceled its Ivy Park partnership with Beyoncé. By the end of this year, Adidas' deal with the pop artist is scheduled to expire.
Adidas claimed in the lawsuit that the Black Lives Matter design could confuse customers and lead them to believe that their products were connected or originated from the same source even though it has been using its emblem since 1952.
The decentralized Black Lives Matter movement, which began as a reaction to police violence against Black people ten years ago, is dominated by the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.
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 clothes, publications, bags, bracelets, and mugs.
A request for comment on Tuesday was not immediately answered by Black Lives Matter group representatives.
According to court records from a lawsuit Adidas filed against fashion firm of designer Thom Browne, since 2008, the business has used the three-stripe trademark in more than 90 lawsuits and more than 200 settlement agreements.
In January, a jury in that case found that Thom Browne's striped designs did not infringe on Adidas' trademark rights.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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