Adidas Owns Shoes After Breaking Ties with Ye

On October 25 2022, Adidas ended its relationship with Kanye West (or Ye), after Kanye made antisemitic remarks. Adidas and Ye had a partnership with the Ye’s Yeezy brand. That partnership produced various shoes.

In its statement, Adidas said:
“After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. adidas will stop the adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.
Adidas is the sole owner of all design rights to existing products as well as previous and new colorways under the partnership.”

Now, this is interesting. According to that statement, Adidas owns the shoes. How they look, how they feel, and any part that goes into the physical construction of the shoe is owned by Adidas. However, the Yeezy brand is owned by Ye. Anything that marks the Yeezy brand, like a logo, for instance, may not be used. The names of the shoes may have to change, to remove any connection to Yeezy, but they can be the same shoes that were previously sold.

In essence, Adidas can rebrand the shoes that were previously made under this deal. Will Adidas end up re-branding the shoes in the future, or will they steer clear entirely?

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