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Monday, February 6, 2017

Did Adidas Make Tesla Change the Model 3 Logo?

Tesla three lines logo, used as an E in Tesla and a 3 in the Model 3 during 2016
According to Law360.com, Adidas has filed a notice of opposition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, demanding that Tesla stop using the three horizontal lines logo.

Adidas says Tesla's logo is too similar to their three stripes logo.

The 3 parallel lines logo of Adidas
Adidas uses the 3 lines in multiple ways in their branding and marketing. They have to be protective of it. Here are another couple examples of Adidas' use of the 3 lines.

As a vital part of Adidas' brand, they are compelled to show a record of defending their trademark. This may be a case where Adidas is just tallying another record to show that they are actively defending their mark.

Tesla has recently announced that they are changing the Model 3 logo from the triple bar  to a numeral representation.

Tesla's new Model 3 mark
If Tesla kept the triple bar logo for the Model 3, they would also have to register the numerical version of the name too since this is how most people would write it most of the time.

Perhaps, Adidas only filed this action after hearing that Tesla was changing their logo. This would be an easy way to score a defensive point without any real opposition. Then again, that might be considered abuse of the PTO system.

It is not clear if Tesla changed the Model 3 logo for their own reasons, to simplify their branding, because of this action by Adidas, or another reason.

It seems unlikely that a simple cease and desist from Adidas would cause Tesla to change the logo if they wanted to keep the triple bar. Tesla is no stranger to legal battles.

This is just the latest in the tumultuous branding for Tesla's next vehicle. Model 3 started out its life as the Model E, igniting a trademark battle with Ford Motors.

Model E ⇨ Model  ⇨ Model 3  

Will Adidas continue to pursue this? Will they go after the triple bar E in the Tesla name logo next?

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