Adidas formally opposes the ELEAGUE logo filed by Turner Sports in 2016.
In June of 2016, Turner filed for the trademark of its “E” logo which consists of three staggered lines. This logo is featured as the major image representing Turner’s ELEAGUE. On October 10, the status of Turner‘s trademark file officially changed to “opposition pending.”
Generally, a similarity in trademarks would not be an issue. Since the two companies offer similar products, services, and content, however, the opposition may have some merit.
Adidas does not currently have any stake in the sphere of eSports other than its sponsorship of Counter-Strike GO team North-esports.
Even so, Adidas claims that the eSports industry is “within the natural zone of expansion of Adidas’s business and goods and services”. The company also asserts that the ELEAGUE logo will “damage” Adidas brand authenticity.
In its opposition, Adidas claims itself as “the brand with the 3 stripes.” The company believes it has a trademark on almost any and all designs featuring three stripes. Its opposition features nearly all of its designs that use the triple line markings. The company sites brand confusion and brand dilution as its two major issues with the E logo.
The Trademark Office, however, only takes issue with similar logos if they are “likely to cause confusion.” Their decision is still up in the air on this matter.
Earlier this year, the Overwatch League nearly faced a similar issue with its logo, taking heat from the MLB. In that instance, however, the MLB decided to drop the issue altogether. Sports logos are often very similar in design, and eSports logos will likely continue to follow the same pattern.
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