Iconic sportswear brand Adidas has now blocked several trademark applications filed by LIV Golf, claiming the golf tour’s logo bears significant similarities to their own logo.
Sports giant Adidas has attempted to block five trademark applications filed by LIV Golf after claiming the Saudi golf tour’s logo too closely resembles its iconic three-stripe image.
THE German brand filed a notice of opposition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark because they particularly drew attention to the alleged similarities. They claimed that LIV Golf The logo “incorporate(s) three stripes in a manner that is confusingly similar to the adidas trademarks in terms of appearance and overall commercial impression.”
The LIV Golf logo incorporates a stylized “L” which features stripes within the letter itself and the golf circuit has attempted to protect it by registering a trademark. Of course, the famous Adidas logo also features three stripes, and their various product forms often incorporate it.
The company says consumers are “familiar with the goods and services long associated with adidas brands.” As such, they claimed that goods and services bearing the LIV Golf logo “are likely to be assumed” that they “come from the same source, or are affiliated, connected or associated with Adidas.”
It remains to be seen whether Adidas is likely to win its case, with a trademark lawyer. Josh Gerben after stating that they are unlikely to do so. That said, it is possible that an agreed settlement could be reached that could limit how LIV’s “L” logo appears on products.
Gerben also explained that recent precedent does indeed suggest that Adidas may have difficulty winning the case. He said: “In my view, Adidas is unlikely to win this case. The company recently lost a similar lawsuit against Thom Browne, proving that Adidas does not have exclusivity on “stripes on clothing.”
Adidas has cut ties with some golfers who were previously athletes on their books after joining LIV Golf. An example of this was Dustin Johnsonwho had been in partnership with the brand for over 15 years before “mutually agreeing” to end their union.
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Announcing the news of the decision, Adidas Golf President Jeff Lienhart told ESPN: “We have mutually agreed to part ways with longtime Adidas athlete Dustin Johnson. For over 15 years, Dustin has been a great ambassador for the Adidas brand.”
Likewise, Adidas also chose not to renew its agreement with Sergio Garcia, who leads the Fireballs GC team in the LIV Golf League. A source told ESPN that a major stumbling block for both sides in this case was the sponsorship model of the LIV Golf League.
This is a project to sell space on shirts for advertisers, in the same vein as the premier league, as well as NASCAR and Formula 1 with their cars. The source explained: “As good as the relationship with Adidas was, it just didn’t fit his plans.
“An important part of building a team is establishing a brand identity and building that brand. The main asset is the jersey. They want the whole jersey. DJ needed a clean break to start his team . He’s grateful to Adidas for letting him out on the deal.”