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When I got dressed this morning, I put on a pair of jeans and a gray Adidas polo. On my way to class, I saw a couple of Tesla cars. At no point did I think I was putting on a Tesla shirt or passing an Adidas car. However, Adidas apparently thinks that the logo for Tesla's Model 3 sedan is "confusingly similar" to Adidas's three stripes mark.

Tesla Motors recently filed a trademark application for their Model 3 logo, comprised of three horizontal stripes. Adidas filed an opposition, claiming "The Adidas 3-Stripes mark is well known to the consuming public and trade as identifying and distinguishing Adidas exclusively and uniquely as the source of products to which the mark is applied." Adidas is opposing Tesla's application for the purpose of selling apparel relating to its Model 3 brand, rather than the actual car itself. This puts the application in the same class as most of Adidas's offerings. Otherwise, Adidas would not have a potential argument for confusion.

According to Law360, opposing trademarks is a common practice for Adidas. Adidas filed eleven similar cases before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in 2016. One such opposition was against the Spanish soccer team FC Barcelona's application for an American trademark of its team crest. In addition, Adidas has filed federal lawsuits against Marc Jacobs, Forever 21, Skechers, and Sears in the last several years.

A quick Google search of "Tesla Model 3 logo" reveals that its logo is, in fact, made of three stripes. Similarly, most people are familiar with Adidas's older, more established, three stripe mark. While it is true that both logos contain three stripes, I think Adidas will have an uphill battle providing evidence of customer confusion between the two logos. Anything is possible, but I don't think many consumers will be confused between the world-famous sneaker company and the hot new car manufacturer.

 

SOURCE

https://www.law360.com/ip/articles/888564/adidas-says-tesla-logo-is-too-similar-to-3-stripe-tm

 

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