Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard has filed suit against Nike in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in an attempt to reclaim control over a logo Leonard says he created.
“The Claw” is the image in question, and a portion of the suit read as follow:
“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. 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 intends to use the logo in promotional materials going forward. He has an endorsement deal with New Balance.
A Nike spokesman declined to comment.