Adidas is withdrawing its request that the U.S. Trademark Office reject an application by Black Lives Matter to trademark a design featuring three parallel stripes.
The request, filed Monday, claimed that the three-stripe design the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation intended to use could lead people to confuse it with Adidas’ signature logo. The sportswear giant has used the parallel stripe logo for more than 70 years, the company noted in the filing. Just 48-hours later, however, Adidas said it had reversed course.
“Adidas will withdraw its opposition to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s trademark application as soon as possible,” the German athletic gear company said in a statement, without offering further details on its change of heart.
Adidas has strongly protected its triple-stripe trademark over the years, although not always successfully. In January, for example, a federal court in New York City ruled that the striped designs used by fashion designer Thom Browne didn’t violate Adidas’ trademark.
In 2014, the company had unsuccessfully applied for a European Union trademark for its logo, which the EU’s Intellectual Property Office ruled was “devoid of any distinctive character.”
The Black Lives Matter Global Network, is the flagship organization of the Black Lives Matter movement, which rose to prominence in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd.
In 2020, Adidas joined other companies in expressing support for Black Lives Matter, pledging to donate $20 million to Black communities, invest in Black students’ college education and hire more Black employees across its North American workforce.
The Associated Press contributed reporting.
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