German Sportswear giant Adidas has withdrawn a complaint it made at the United States Trademark Office against the logo used by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization, two days after submitting the objection.
The company released a statement to the press saying that it will withdraw the objection. “Adidas will withdraw its opposition to the Black Lives Matter Global Network’s trademark application as soon as possible,” the statement issued on Wednesday said.
In the initial complaint submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Adidas claimed that the logo being used by Black Lives Matter looks too similar to the trademark globally-famous three-stripes logo of Adidas which the company has used since 1952. The complaint added that the use of the BLM logo would “dilute the distinctiveness” of the Adidas brand and is “likely to cause confusion.”
According to sources close to the company, the decision was prompted by a concern over the potential harm such a move could do to the company’s image in the United States and globally. The company has been jolted financially by the fallout of Kanye West’s antisemitic comments, which prompted the company to sever its business ties with the rap icon. The discontinuation of the Yeezy line of shoes —a collaboration with Kanye which was one of the biggest sources of revenue for the company— has resulted in losses of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Founded in 2013, Black Lives Matter has become a prominent civil rights organization fighting to “eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.”
Adidas has a notorious history of challenging what it perceives as unlawful appropriation of its logo branding. In the last 15 years, the sportswear giant has reportedly filed over 90 lawsuits and more than 200 settlement agreements.