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Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls answers questions from the media following the Bulls 83-80 loss against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 26, 2011 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
A Lake County church is hoping local superstar Derrick Rose can help get a message across to one of his sponsors: back off.
At issue is a trademark owned by the Christian Faith Fellowship Church, in Zion, and wanted by German sports apparell company Adidas.
"... We are not an affluent Congregation, but a working class church in a working class community; and given the state of the economy, we are working hard to keep our doors open and our programs (food pantry, day care, etc.) meeting the needs of our working class community," Pastor E. James Logan wrote in letters to both Rose and Adidas CEO Erick Stamminger (.pdfs from TMZ).
The trouble for the church began in 2009, when Adidas tried to register a trademark for "AdiZero," a sub-brand of clothing that includes a line of shoes bearing Rose's name.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office denied Adidas' application because it was too similar to the "Add A Zero" trademark that Christian Faith Fellowship had registered three years earlier.
The church uses the trademark to boost donations.
Adidas later offered $5,000 to the church to give up the trademark, but the church refused. Now the German company, with 2010 revenues exceeding $15 billion, has filed a petition with the USPTO to cancel the church's trademark on the grounds it hadn't used the name enough.
That petition is pending.
There's been no public comment on the matter from Rose, who earlier this week signed a five-year, $94 million contract extension with the Chicago Bulls.