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Adidas has filed a trademark infringement claim against LIV Golf, according to a report in the US.
According to Front Office Sports, the German athletic apparel and footwear brand is taking legal action to block five trademark applications filed by the Saudi-funded golf league.
Adidas claims that LIV’s logo “incorporate[s] three stripes in a manner that is confusingly similar to the adidas Marks in appearance and overall commercial impression.”
A trademark lawyer quoted by Front Office Sports believes that Adidas is unlikely to win the case but predicted a settlement that might limit how LIV’s ‘L’ logo is used on certain products.
Adidas has used and evolved its ‘three stripes’ branding ever since the company was founded by Adolf Dassler in 1949.
Its own website states: “If there’s one constant you can always recognise, from the beginning of the history of adidas’ logos until now, it’s certainly the 3-Stripes.
“The world-famous trademark has come to represent quality product that’s rooted in sport. Whether you’re throwing on some performance gear before a gruelling workout or putting together an outfit from Originals that helps you express your style, you can feel proud sporting the brand with the 3-Stripes.”
Neither Adidas nor LIV have so far commented publicly on the alleged trademark dispute.
LIV, which is staging its latest event in Chicago this weekend, signed one of Adidas’ biggest brand ambassadors, Dustin Johnson, when the new tour launched in June 2022.
The two-time major champion was part of the ‘Three Stripe’ family for 15 years before parting ways with the company in February this year.
Another Adidas golf ambassador who defected to LIV, former Masters champion Sergio Garcia, also saw his long-standing relationship with the brand come to an end when his deal was not renewed.
In August 2022, Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted reacted to news of LIV Golf’s emergence by calling it the “normal evolution” of golf.
“Eventually it is the bodies who need to decide what they do,” he told CNBC. “We have the same conversation when you look upon the Champions League or the World Cup with UEFA or FIFA.
“We have a very strong point of view of the players and, in essence, we want to make certain that we partner with the best player. We think that is how easy that is.”
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