The enigmatic Kawhi Leonard just can’t seem to stay out of the headlines at the moment. After Kawhi filed a lawsuit against Nike over his ‘Klaw’ logo, the Beaverton-based brand are firing back – countersuing the newly-acquired LA Clippers superstar over copyright infringement.
Footwear News reports that Nike is also accusing Kawhi of fraud within his initial copyright filing, as well as a breach of contract.
Kawhi used the ‘Klaw’ on his own non-Nike merchandise, according to the lawsuit he filed. However, in the filing, he states he has plans to use the logo on new apparel, footwear, sports camps, and charity functions – which Nike have objected to.
In the latest developments in the saga, Nike have denied wrongdoing, having seen a drafted design of the logo shared by Kawhi in 2011, shortly after he signed to the brand. Kawhi and Nike’s logos both feature a claw with ‘KL’ initials, however, Nike argues the image Kawhi designed is ‘plainly distinct’ from its copyrighted design.
‘In this action, Kawhi Leonard seeks to rewrite history by asserting that he created the ‘Claw Design’ logo, but it was not Leonard who created that logo. The ‘Claw Design’ was created by a talented team of Nike designers as Leonard, himself has previously admitted,’ reads the suit.
Kawhi balled in Nikes from October 2011 until September 2018, before signing for New Balance. As part of the new contract, the two-time NBA Finals MVP was prohibited from authorising any third-party to use Nike trademarks. Clearly, the Swoosh feel he’s violated this condition by using the logo on various merchandise, including apparel sold during the 2019 NBA Finals.
We get the feeling this is going to be a lengthy saga… We’ll keep you updated on developments.