Adidas backflips on Black Lives Matter ‘three-stripes’ logo design


Adidas will drop its opposition to a trademark application by Black Lives Matter for a logo that features three parallel stripes, according to a statement Wednesday, two days after the sportswear giant told the U.S. Trademark Office the organization’s logo too closely resembled its own.
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Adidas will drop its opposition to a trademark filing by Black Lives Matter.

Adidas will withdraw its opposition to the trademark application filed by Black Lives Matter, the company said in a statement Wednesday, noting it would do so “as soon as possible.”

A source close to the company told Reuters that Adidas dropped the opposition over concerns that people would view the trademark objection as a criticism of Black Lives Matter.

In its filing to the U.S. Trademark Office on Monday, Adidas argued that the Black Lives Matter logo design—three parallel yellow stripes—“is likely to cause confusion, deception” or cause people to assume an association between the organization and Adidas, like a sponsorship.

The company also argued that Black Lives Matter’s use of the logo would “dilute the distinctiveness” of Adidas’ logo “by eroding consumers’ exclusive identification” of a three-stripe logo with the brand.

Adidas has used its classic three-stripes logo since 1949, according to the company, and it has sued several other brands for possible trademark infringement over it in the last two decades, including Polo Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch and Forever 21. The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation filed for a federal trademark in November 2020 for its yellow three-stripe design to use on various merchandise.


Big Number

90. That’s how many lawsuits Adidas has filed related to its three-stripe trademark since 2008, according to the filing, in addition to more than 200 settlement agreements.

Surprising Fact

Adidas lost a trademark infringement lawsuit against the luxury fashion brand Thom Browne in January, after it claimed Thom Browne had used its “three stripes” logo design without its permission. Robert Maldonado, a lawyer for Thom Browne, argued during the trial that Adidas “does not own stripes,” according to Bloomberg Law.


The company most recently ended its Yeezy shoe deal with Kanye West—a partnership valued at $1.5 billion—and its Ivy Park collaboration with Beyoncé, whose contract with Adidas is set to expire by the end of the year.

This article was first published on and all figures are in USD.

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