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.

Posted:June 14, 2013 at 10:57AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
The Top 20 Most-Read Gleanings of 2014
Did you catch all the religion news that CT readers found most interesting this year?
150 Million Bible Readers Were Searching for Love Most in 2014
Bible Gateway finds patterns in how the world searched and read the Bible this past year.
India Intervenes on Christmas Conversion of Thousands of Christians to Hinduism
In Modi era, are government officials finally reining in Hindu nationalists?
Korea's Christmas 'Psychological Warfare' Canceled After All
South Korean Christians reverse plan to light the North Korean border with holiday cheer.
Christianity Today
Will Derrick Rose Help Hometown Church Fight Adidas over Tithing ...