adidas is apparently filing suit against the four tennis grand slam events and the International Tennis Federation, who oversee those majors, in an effort to overturn a ruling would limit the size of the adidas three-stripe logo worn by sponsored athletes. Wimbledon is the first of the majors to get the challenge in an action next month in London's High Court.
The varied governing bodies of tennis agreed in November 2005 that the three stripes is a manufacturer's logo subject to the space and size limitations of all logos. For the ITF and the Grand Slams, that declaration meant that adidas' logo choice will have to fit within two square inches on the sleeve. adidas must come into compliance before Wimbledon 2006. The ATP and WTA are allowing a slightly larger logo.
The issue has really heated up over the last two years as adidas moved to defend its use of three stripes as a trademark, effectively suing a number of companies for the use of two and four stripes on footwear and apparel. Other manufacturers have since gone to the Olympics, ITF, and other organizations to argue that such court rulings effectively establish the three stripes as a logo and not just a design element.
The Sport Telegraph reported that officials at the All England Club said that Wimbledon would “vigorously defend” the action, which they described as “totally without foundation.”