Kawhi Leonard has filed a lawsuit against his former endorser in Nike after he claims the apparel company lifted a logo he created for their own purposes. Leonard, who is under contract with New Balance, says the company had permission to use the logo at one point but filed a copyright on the image without his consent.
In the nine-page lawsuit, 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. Leonard claims Nike filed an application for copyright registration for the logo without his consent.
Leonard’s Nike deal expired on Sept. 30, 2018, according to the lawsuit. He now endorses New Balance.
In the lawsuit, Leonard claims he wants to use the logo on clothing, footwear and other products, including in connection with sports camps and charity functions.
He also claims Nike asked him to stop using the logo in December 2018. Leonard claims his attorneys then asked Nike to rescind its copyrights to the logo. He alleges Nike responded in March saying it owned “all intellectual property rights” to the logo and demanded Leonard stop using it immediately.
The outlet quoted a New York Times piece that revealed the Los Angeles Clippers have looked into purchasing some of the rights to the logo, a curious point because the team is one of the rumored destinations for the soon-to-be free agent.
Photo: 306 Yonge