Kawhi Leonard Files Lawsuit Against Nike For Rights To "Klaw" Logo
Raptors F Kawhi Leonard has "filed a federal lawsuit against Nike" in U.S. District Court in Southern California over the company's use of his "Klaw" logo, according to Matthew Kish of the PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL. Leonard is claiming that he "designed the logo that appeared on his Nike apparel," and the company, "unbeknownst to him, 'falsely' claimed it created the logo in a copyright registration." Leonard claims the logo is an "extension of drawings he started making early in his college career and he gave Nike permission to use the logo 'on certain merchandise' when he had an endorsement deal with Nike." He claims that Nike "filed an application for copyright registration for the logo without his consent." Leonard claims that he "wants to use the logo on clothing, footwear and other products." He also claims Nike "asked him to stop using the logo" in December. Leonard claims his attorneys then "asked Nike to rescind its copyrights to the logo." He alleges Nike then responded in March saying that it "owned 'all intellectual property rights' to the logo and demanded Leonard stop using it" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/3). The move comes after the N.Y. Times last week reported the Clippers have looked into buying the portion of the Klaw logo that Nike still owns (THE DAILY).
NEW CAMPAIGNS FOR NEW BALANCE? ESPN.com's Tim Bontemps noted Leonard's lawsuit would, in theory, "allow for a new campaign with New Balance sometime in the future -- or at the very least would again give Leonard (should he win) control of a logo he says should be his" (ESPN.com, 6/3). See how New Balance handles Leonard's social strategy.