Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors has filed a lawsuit against Nike in hopes of reclaiming his signature “Klaw” logo, ESPN reports. Leonard reportedly drew the logo shortly after being drafted into the NBA in 2011, and it has since been used on Nike merchandise, as Leonard was previously signed to Jordan Brand.
“In 2011, just after being drafted to the National Basketball Association, Kawhi Leonard authored a unique logo that included elements that were meaningful and unique to him,” the lawsuit reads. “Leonard traced his notably large hand, and, inside the hand, drew stylized versions of his initials ‘KL’ and the number that he had worn for much of his career, ‘2.’ The drawing Leonard authored was an extension and continuation of drawings he had been creating since early in his college career.”
“Several years later, as part of an endorsement deal with Nike, Leonard allowed Nike to use on certain merchandise the logo he created while Leonard continued to use the logo on non-Nike goods. Unbeknownst to Leonard and without his consent, Nike filed an application for copyright registration of his logo and falsely represented in the application that Nike had authored the logo.”
Leonard is hoping to regain control of his logo to use it for clothing collections, sneakers, sports camps, and charity events, while New Balance — the company Kawhi signed with following his time at Jordan Brand — would seemingly also be permitted to utilize the graphic.
ESPN adds that Leonard and Nike have been in contact regarding the logo multiple times over the past several months. In March, the company told Kawhi that “it owns all intellectual property rights in the Leonard Logo and demanding that Leonard immediately cease and desist from what Nike claimed was the unauthorized use of the Leonard Logo.”
The ultimate goal of the lawsuit is for Leonard to reclaim sole control over the logo so he can do with it as he pleases.
For more on Kawhi Leonard’s Nike lawsuit, follow on over to ESPN.
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- Source: ESPN