Adidas thinks Tesla's old Model 3 logo is a little too familiar

Tesla has already ditched the car's three-stripe mark.

Would you confuse the Tesla Model 3's three-bar logo with Adidas' signature stripes? No? Don't tell that to Adidas. The apparel giant has filed a challenge to prevent Tesla from registering the Model 3's logo as a trademark. It's similar enough to Adidas' stripes that it's "likely to cause confusion" and suggest the two brands are connected, according to the filing. While it seems like a tenuous claim at first blush (most people can tell the difference between athletic wear and cars), Adidas says it's pursuing the case because Tesla was looking to put the logo on clothing and other products. The gap between the two brands was about to blur, in other words. However, the dispute may not amount to much given Tesla's recent actions.

We've reached out to Tesla, and a spokesperson notes that the EV maker quietly changed the logo to the numeric "3" weeks ago, well before Adidas filed its notice. While the company did withdraw its application for the old three-bar logo on February 7th, it maintains that this was strictly a Tesla branding decision and not a response to the trademark issue. We've asked Adidas for its take on the situation, but it looks its objection is based more on principle than what Tesla is actually doing.

Adidas and Tesla Model 3 logos