SBD/Issue 19/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Illinois Lawyer Files Lawsuit Against adidas Over Ad Slogan

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Illinois lawyer Brand Bobosky last week filed a federal lawsuit claiming adidas and "several other defendants committed copyright and trademark infringement by using the 'We Not Me' slogan during an advertising campaign" in '07 and '08 that featured Celtics F Kevin Garnett, according to Gerry Smith of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The lawsuit was filed October 1 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and "also names as defendants adidas America, NBA Properties Inc., NBA Services Inc., NBA Store Inc., NBA Store LLC, the Boston Celtics and Garnett." Bobosky obtained trademark and copyright protection for the "We Not Me" phrase in '04. He is "seeking unspecified damages, attorney fees, profits from adidas' advertising campaign and an injunction to prevent the defendants from using the slogan" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/8). In Illinois, Bill Bird reported Bobosky has "allowed use of the phrase to smaller groups and organizations from Michigan to Australia, and has seen it appear on key chains, hats and golfing paraphernalia." He said that he "tried without success for nearly a year to negotiate a licensing agreement with Adidas following the launch of the commercial campaign" (ST. CHARLES SUN, 10/7).

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