Jump directly to the content

Will Derrick Rose Help Hometown Church Fight Adidas over Tithing Trademark?

Prepare for the David vs. Goliath metaphors...

Why is a small Chicago-area church preparing to go to trial against the world's second-largest sporting-goods company next month?

It's the latest phase of a long-running trademark dispute over a tithing slogan claimed by the church as a "prophetic word spoken" more than a decade ago.

Christian Faith Fellowship Church (CFFC) of Zion, Illinois, has refused to accept a $5,000 offer from Adidas in exchange for the church's surrender of its "Add-A-Zero" logo, which the church trademarked in 2006 to use on products sold in connection to its "righteous" building campaign. The slogan is used to encourage church members to "add a zero" to each week's tithe.

In 2009, Adidas's "adizero" logo was denied trademark registration in the United States due to the similarity with the church's existing trademark. Adidas has continued to market its lightweight "adizero" shoes, while trying to get the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the church's trademark. Two weeks ago, Adidas's request was denied, prompting a July trial.

The church, which has expressed a willingness to settle if Adidas adds a few zeros to its previous $5,000 offer, is attempting to get Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose, whose line of Adidas shoes features the "adizero" logo, to support its cause, even suggesting it will request a deposition from the hometown basketball player.

Although the church filed its logo prior to Adidas's attempt, Adidas's product output significantly trumps that of the church, leaving the court's future decision unclear.

CT has previously noted debate over church trademarks, particularly in connection with a 2011 naming conflict involving a church plant of Seattle's Mars Hill.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Posted:June 14, 2013 at 10:57AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
What Americans Think of What Evangelicals Think of Religious Liberty
How both sides of the debates over same-sex marriage, transgender bathroom access, and employer-provided contraception feel about each other.
Finally: Killers of Malatya Martyrs Sentenced to Life in Turkish Prison
But Turkish Christians are still 'infuriated.' Here's why.
Crossway Reverses Decision to Make ESV Bible Text Permanent
Amid much public debate, publisher says strategy for a 'stable' Bible was a 'mistake.'
How the Modern Proverbs 31 Woman Uses Facebook
Study finds Christian women use social media differently than other women—and feel differently afterwards.
Christianity Today
Will Derrick Rose Help Hometown Church Fight Adidas over Tithing ...