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If the shoe doesn’t fit: Why Adidas should get a lump of coal in its Christmas stocking

Posted Dec 22 2011 3:55pm

One of the shoes in my running rotation are the Adidas Bostons. The official name of the shoe is Adidas adiZero Boston. I always thought Adidas had trademarked the word “Adizero.”

But, it turns out, a Chicago-area church beat Adidas to the punch and now the shoe company is in a tizzy fit about it.

This from the Chicago Tribune :

A Lake County pastor is imploring Bulls star Derrick Rose to help end Adidas’ legal attack on his congregation over a trademark dispute involving the company’s popular adiZero line.

The trouble started last year after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the German sports apparel manufacturer’s trademark request for AdiZero –  the sub-brand which includes the highly publicized Rose 2 series of shoes – because Zion-based Christian Faith Fellowship Church had already claimed it.

The church trademarked the phrase “Add A Zero” in 2006 as part of a campaign to boost the congregation’s donations to church. If members gave $100 annually, Pastor E. James Logan was encouraging them to “add a zero” to that amount and make it $1,000. The church uses its offerings to, among other things, run a food pantry and day-care center, according to its website.

After losing an appeal in November 2010, Adidas asked the Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the church’s trademark because it didn’t use the name enough. The request is currently pending.

Adidas – which won a $300 million jury verdict against Payless Shoesource Inc. for trademark infringement in 2008 – offered the church $5,000 to give up its trademark, Young said. The church rejected the offer.

In a letter to Rose dated Dec. 2, Logan, the pastor, urged the Bulls star to ask Adidas to abandon its efforts.

My thoughts? A company can do what it wants to market its products. But to ask the feds to cancel the church trademark because said company couldn’t get its way is a cheap shot, not to mention to measly $5,000 that Adidas offered the church to give up its trademark. I mean, come on, Adidas is a billion dollar company. This church is not exactly awash in cash.

Come on, Adidas. You are better than that.

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