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Adidas says the Black Lives Matter design violates three lines of branding

Adidas has asked the US Trademark Office to reject the Black Lives Matter (BLM) trademark application with three parallel lines.

According to the sportswear giant, the Global Network Foundation’s Black Lives Matter design will create confusion with its famous three-stripe marking.

Adidas added that its logo had been used for more than 70 years.

The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is the most prominent organization in the decentralized BLM movement.

The group filed for a US trademark in November 2020 for a three-yellow stripe design for merchandise, including clothing and bags.

In a challenge notice filed with the Trademark Office, Adidas said the proposed design “incorporates the three stripes in a manner very similar to the triple stripe mark in appearance and overall commercial feel.”

The company added that consumers who are familiar with its goods and services are “inclined to assume” that products offered under the applicant’s brand “origin with or are associated with, affiliated with or related to Adidas.” affiliated with or sponsored by Adidas. “

The US Trademark Office has granted the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation until May 6 to respond to the challenge.

The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation and Adidas did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the BBC.

BLM rose to prominence following the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old black boy who was shot and killed by volunteer neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Florida.

The movement gained further support in the summer of 2020 after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by a police officer who knelt on his neck.

In January this year, Adidas lost a court case trying to prevent luxury brand Thom Browne from using the design.

The sportswear giant thinks Browne’s four stripes are too similar to his three.

Brown claims shoppers won’t confuse the two brands because they – among other things – have different line counts.

Documents used in the case show that since 2008, Adidas has filed more than 90 lawsuits and entered into more than 200 settlement agreements related to its brand.

According to Adidas, the number of stripes on their famous brand doesn’t matter. The company says its founder, Adolf Dassler, tested several versions and combinations of bars and found that the lines featured on the sign showed up most clearly in photos.

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