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adidas Retracts Its Opposition Against Black Lives Matter Over Three Stripes Design Trademark

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adidas has been in hot water as of late, as the brand has had to deal with a failing line with Beyonce (IVY PARK), projecting its first operating loss in 31 years and, struggling with what to do with its remaining Yeezy inventory. All of this spells financial trouble for the German sportswear giant. Outside of financials, adidas is currently dealing with a PR blunder. According to Fortune Magazine, adidas had objected to Black Lives Matter’s three stripes logo in a filing submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and then quickly reversed this decision.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen adidas go after those using striped lines in designs, as they recently settled a case versus Thom Brown over the designer's use of four stripes. Since 2008, adidas has filed 90-plus lawsuits and settled over 200 legal disputes regarding the three-stripes logo, as revealed by documents in the aforementioned Thom Brown case.

In its claims against BLM, adidas had argued that the design (which utilizes three vertical yellow stripes) was “likely to cause confusion” with consumers. They aimed to prevent the BLM organization from receiving a trademark and stop them from selling items using the design. This opposition was filed on March 27th and was withdrawn by adidas on March 29th.

Document From The USPTO Showcasing adidas Withdrew Its Opposition Against BLM's Proposed Trademark
Document From The USPTO Showcasing adidas Withdrew Its Opposition Against BLM's Proposed Trademark

After receiving backlash online, Fortune confirmed via an adidas spokesperson that the filing would be withdrawn “as soon as possible,” with documents from the USPTO showing they began withdrawing their opposition on March 29th. On top of social media outcry, Reuters states that a source close to adidas says the brand decided to withdraw its opposition as many could mistake their opposition to BLM’s trademark as the company going against what BLM stands for.

As adidas continues to navigate this challenging 2023, we’ll keep our eye peeled on their moves in the future. Keep it locked to our Twitter and the Sole Retriever mobile app to stay updated on the latest happenings regarding sneakers, streetwear, and more.

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