Basketball star, Kawhi Leonard, files copyright suit against Nike

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2019 | Copyright Law |

While Kawhi Leonard is fighting against the Golden State Warriors for the NBA title, the NBA superstar has also entered a legal battle with a juggernaut from the business world.

Recently, reports came out that the Toronto Raptor filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Nike. The dispute involves a logo that Kawhi Leonard drew in college.

Details of the case

Leonard and Nike are disputing the rights to a particular piece of intellectual property. The work in question is Leonard’s “Klaw” logo. The logo features a stylized version of Leonard’s initials that make up a cartoon representation of his uniquely large hand.

According to the lawsuit, the basketball player “allowed Nike to use on certain merchandise… while Leonard continued to use the logo on non-Nike goods.”

Nike allegedly filed a copyright registration of the logo without the knowledge or consent of Leonard, claiming the logo as its intellectual property. Leonard has also taken issue with Nike’s refusal to allow him to use the logo for other purposes.

What can be learned from the case

It will be interesting to hear how Nike will respond to the lawsuit. While Leonard claims that the contract did not transfer the intellectual property to Nike, the company may make an argument with their own interpretation of the terms of the contract.

The case highlights how valuable intellectual property can be. It also demonstrates how important it is to have clear language and stipulations in contracts regarding intellectual property. It is very likely that interpretation of the contract’s language will provide the basis for a verdict on the dispute.

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