Adidas’ trademark opposition against one of today’s leading movements has quickly made a 180-turn.
On March 27, Adidas requested that a Black Lives Matter application for a trademark of three parallel lines be denied by the U.S. Trademark Office, according to Reuters.
The retail giant claimed that the movement’s stripe design was “likely to cause confusion” due to Adidas’ belief that there is a resemblance with its own popular logo. What’s more, the company stated that shoppers would possibly think that their goods were under the same umbrella.
Now, within 48 hours, Adidas has retracted its request, Reuters details.
“Adidas will withdraw its opposition to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s trademark application as soon as possible,” Adidas shared in a statement, per the outlet.
However, why did the company switch up its argument against Black Lives Matter?
According to a source close to Adidas, the change of heart came from wanting to avoid people interpreting their opposition as being against what Black Lives Matter stands for, which is to bring justice to Black people around the world.
However, the damage had already been done based on the looks of people’s reactions across social media. Following the filing of the opposition, there were Twitter users who called Adidas out because they thought there was no resemblance between the two logos. Additionally, there were critics who described the opposition as “frivolous.”
No one will believe those 2 things look similar enough to justify taking action, and targeting BLM for this smells pretty rank. Anyway, I will avoid Adidas. https://t.co/8gkmFMZiiM
— Mae 美妍 / AtFruitBat on Cohost (@AtFruitBat) March 29, 2023
Seems pretty damn frivolous… https://t.co/SoWMlGzuTx
— Brian K. Myers (@fluffyman85) March 29, 2023
People online have also pointed out that Adidas has been in hot water over the past few months, especially with the aftermath of the Kanye West controversy. Earlier this month, AfroTech reported that the company announced that it faced a net loss of $540 million due to unsold Yeezy products in its final 2022 quarter.
Lastly, Adidas’ trademark opposition with Black Lives Matter is just one on its lengthy list. Reuters reports that it “has filed over 90 lawsuits and signed more than 200 settlement agreements related to the three-stripe trademark since 2008, according to court documents from a lawsuit the company brought against designer Thom Browne’s fashion house.”