Earlier today (March 29), sportswear brand Adidas announced that they were retracting their bid to have the U.S. Trademark Office reject a Black Lives Matter application for a similar trademark.
“Adidas will withdraw its opposition to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s trademark application as soon as possible,” the company said in a statement.
On Monday (March 27), just two days prior, Adidas informed the trademark office in a filing that the BLM Global Network Foundation’s design, three yellow parallel stripes, was very similar to their signature mark and could cause confusion.
The sportswear company attempted to block the foundation’s application from using such a design on purchasable items. According to Reuters, a source close to the company alleged the quick turnaround from their initial course was due to “concern that people could misinterpret Adidas’ trademark objection as criticism of Black Lives Matter’s mission.”
The news comes nearly a week after reports of Beyoncé and Adidas mutually agreeing to part ways hit the internet. The two high-profile brands decided to team up in 2018 through the singer’s Ivy Park wear. Beyoncé and Adidas have worked together through the years to see several creative designs brought to life. However, a source told The Hollywood Reporter that creative differences ultimately led to the end of the partnership.
Black Lives Matter is a brand of its own and has been the staple of a revolution created in 2013, 17 months after neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teen. Black people reignited in 2020 after the senseless killing of George Floyd and others in America.
In the fall of 2020, BLM Global Network Foundation applied for the U.S. trademark for a yellow three-stripe design for use on branded merchandise. The foundation has yet to comment on the Adidas filing or its retraction.