W. Brand Bobosky, an Illinois attorney, has filed a federal trademark and copyright lawsuit against Adidas and Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett for using his copyrighted phrase, “We Not Me,” in a marketing campaign.
According to a report in the Daily Herald in Chicago, Bobosky claims he developed the phrase in 1999 and presented it to the Rotary Club the following year.
“Basically it's Christ's message reduced in the simplest terms, do unto others,” he told the newspaper. “I think it's just a good reminder to people about how to conduct their lives and it works.”
Bobosky registered the phrase as both a trademark and copyright, according to his attorney, Stephen Drinnon, of the Drinnon Law Firm in Dallas.
He has put the phrase on key chains, cups, buttons and hats. He also incorporated We Not Me, Ltd. and created a Web site for it. Bobosky has been trying to market the phrase to a variety of groups and companies including Wal-Mart, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Oprah Winfrey.
In 2007, Adidas used the phrase “We Not Me” in a national advertising campaign featuring Garnett and put it on Internet commercials and athletic apparel without Bobosky's permission, according to the lawsuit.