Adidas doubles back on opposition to Black Lives Matter logo

Just 48 hours after its initial decision, Adidas withdraws formal opposition against Black Lives Matter’s logo

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Adidas is saying “honestly, never mind” on its original motion to protect the brand’s classic three-stripe marketing. 

Adidas Black Lives Matter trademark
Adidas doubles back on opposition to Black Lives Matter logo (Photo: Getty Images)

On Monday, the athleisure brand submitted a notice of opposition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office against the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s yellow three-stripe logo design. In the initial filing, Adidas claimed that BLM’s branding looked too much like the brand’s famous three-stripe logo, which dates back to 1952. Their claim states that Black Lives Matter’s use of the logo would “dilute the distinctiveness” of the brand and is  “likely to cause confusion.”

Adidas’ submission would have prevented the foundation from using the yellow three-stripe logo on any merchandise that the athletic gear company also sells, like t-shirts, hats, and bags. However, just two days after contesting the foundation’s logo, Adidas retracted its claims.  

“Adidas will withdraw its opposition to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s trademark application as soon as possible,” said the German athleticwear company in a statement. 

The quick change of heart grew from a concern that Adidas’ trademark objection would be seen as an objection to Black Lives Matter’s mission, as reported by Reuters, which cited an anonymous source close to the brand. Since its founding in 2013, Black Lives Matter has worked towards freedom, liberation, and justice by actively striving to “eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.” 

However, this is not the first time the brand has filed disputes with the trademark office to protect its three-stripe trademark. In fact, Adidas has filed over 90 lawsuits and signed more than 200 settlement agreements over the last 15 years. But given recent news surrounding Adidas, it seems the brand can’t afford another mishap. Since ending their popular Yeezy partnership with Kanye West following his antisemitic comments, the brand has reportedly been struggling financially. Similarly, last week, Beyonce announced the end of Ivy Park x Adidas, her five-year partnership with the brand.

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