Mar 29, 2023
Adidas to Drop Opposition to Black Lives Matter Trademark
(Bloomberg Law) -- Adidas AG will drop its opposition to Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Inc.'s trademark application for a logo with three yellow stripes, a reversal that comes about two days after first filing the legal objection.
“adidas will withdraw its opposition to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s trademark application as soon as possible,” a company spokesperson said in a statement early Wednesday morning.
The opposition said Adidas’ brand would be damaged if the Black Lives Matter organization, founded in 2013, obtained a US trademark registration for the three horizontal yellow stripes, according to documents filed Monday before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
The Black Lives Matter foundation’s trademark application, filed in November 2020, would cover use of the logo on face masks, bracelets, bags, and clothing, as well as for charitable fundraising, among other services. The nonprofit said it has been using three stripes on its website since at least 2017.
The company is known for its aggressive trademark enforcement tactics despite recent court losses over the three stripes, including an unsuccessful jury trial against luxury brand Thom Browne Inc.
Adidas said it has been using the three-stripes logo on its clothing since 1952, and the trademark has since become an “iconic” symbol that the public identifies with company. The Black Lives Matter organization’s mark would likely cause confusion with Adidas’ brand, according to its opposition filing.
“Any defect, objection, or fault found with the goods and services offered” by Black Lives Matter under the proposed trademark “necessarily would reflect on and seriously injure adidas’s reputation,” the opposition said.
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Ryan Swanson & Cleveland PLLC represent Black Lives Matter. Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP represents Adidas.
The case is adidas AG v. Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Inc., TTAB, 91284161, 3/27/23.
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(Updated to reflect that Adidas will drop its opposition to the trademark application.)
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