On February 7, I wrote about Adidas and their opposition to Tesla's trademark application for the Model 3 logo. You can read that article here: http://www.dfwpatentlaw.com/blog/2017/02/adidas-opposing-teslas-3-stripe-trademark-registration.shtml. I was not sold that Adidas would be able to prove customer confusion, but filing an opposition to Tesla's application was consistent with their history of aggressively protecting their three stripe trademark. Now, Adidas's actions may be coming back to bite them. On Monday, Law360 reported that Forever 21, Inc. filed suit against Adidas late last week in a California federal court for taking the enforcement of its three stripe trademark too far.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association ("NCAA") has had a lot of legal press in the last few years. From the controversies over whether student athletes should be paid, to the likenesses of student athletes no longer being used in video games such as the now-defunct NCAA Football series, the NCAA is no stranger to legal proceedings. One of the NCAA's most notable trademarks is "March Madness," referring to the annual Division 1 basketball tournament culminating in the crowning of a national champion.
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.