Kawhi Leonard Hit With Countersuit by Nike in Logo Legal Battle

Nike is asking the court to ban Leonard from using his “Klaw” logo

Kawhi Leonar at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports 2019. (Matt Winkelmeyer/KCASports2019/Getty for Nickelodeon)
Kawhi Leonar at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports 2019. (Matt Winkelmeyer/KCASports2019/Getty for Nickelodeon)
By Evan Bleier / July 19, 2019 8:46 am

Kawhi Leonard won on the court last season but it remains to be seen if he’ll be a winner in the courtroom as well.

After filing a lawsuit against a federal lawsuit against Nike last month in United States District Court alleging the sportswear company filed a copyright for a logo he designed while he was an endorser of the company, the Oregon-based firm has filed a countersuit against the reigning NBA Finals MVP.

Leonard, who now endorses New Balance, claims he allowed Nike to use the “Klaw” logo he created while he was attending college at San Diego State.

In its countersuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Nike disputes that claim.

“In this action, Kawhi Leonard seeks to re-write history by asserting that he created the ‘Claw Design’ logo, but it was not Leonard who created that logo,” according to the countersuit. “The ‘Claw Design’ was created by a talented team of NIKE designers, as Leonard, himself, has previously admitted. In his Complaint, Leonard alleges he provided a design to NIKE. That is true. What is false is that the design he provided was the Claw Design. Not once in his Complaint does Leonard display or attach either the design that he provided or the Claw Design. Instead, he conflates the two, making it appear as though those discrete works are one and the same. They are not.”

Judge for yourself:

Nike is asking the court to ban Leonard from being able to use the logo and to dismiss his lawsuit against them.

“Leonard and Nike will probably negotiate a financial settlement to end their lawsuit,” according to Sports Illustrated legal analyst Michael McCann. “A logical arrangement would be one where Leonard agrees to pay Nike a fee or a portion of royalties going forward. Nike, meanwhile, would agree to drop any claims.”

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