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Adidas Accused of Trying to Screw Church Servicing the Poor

12/22/2011 7:45 AM PST

Adidas Accused of Trying to Screw Church Servicing the Poor

A church near Chicago that caters to struggling members of its community claims Adidas is on a vicious campaign to torpedo the congregation, and a Chicago Bulls star is caught in the middle.

The Christian Faith Fellowship Church in Zion, IL trademarked the name, Add A Zero -- and church reps tell us it's using the trademark to sell clothing and other items to raise money for a new building, a food pantry and a day care program.

In 2009 -- 3 years after the Church got its trademark -- Adidas tried to register the name ADIZERO, for a sub-brand of its athletic clothing.  Adidas is marking the line, using Bulls point guard Derrick Rose as its spokesperson.   But here's the rub ... The U.S. Trademark Office rejected its application because the Church beat it to the punch. 

Adidas then offered the Church $5,000 to give up its trademark, but the Church said hell no.

And get this ... In November, 2010, Adidas petitioned the U.S. Trademark Office to cancel the Church's trademark, on ground the Church hadn't used the name enough.  The petition is pending.

Three weeks ago, Pastor E. James Logan from the Church sent letters to Adidas, begging them to back down.  The Pastor wrote, "I have long been an admirer of Adidas and would not expect a company of your stature, with celebrity endorsers like Mr. Rose, to try to use its wealth and power to bully a working class church."

The Pastor also wrote to Rose, pleading for him to knock some sense into Adidas.

We contacted the lawyer for Adidas but so far ... no comment. We also contacted Rose, but have not heard back yet.
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