Despite being in the midst of an NBA Finals, and facing a summer of critical decision making, Kawhi Leonard and his team had some time to sue Nike for what they believe is a copyright violation.
Here are the details behind the suit, courtesy of ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.
“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.”
Apparently, Nike copyrighted Kawhi’s logo without his consent. He is taking them to court in an attempt to win it back.
But for Kawhi, much more hangs in the balance other than the rights to a logo. His playing future will be determined, as will his legacy as he embarks on a mission to win another NBA title.