Kawhi Leonard filed suit in federal court against Nike, claiming the footwear and apparel giant attempted to copyright his “Klaw” logo “unbeknownst to Leonard and without his consent.”
Leonard says he’s the owner of the logo, having designed it himself.
The suit was filed in California—Kawhi owns a home in San Diego—ahead of Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
Per The AP:
Leonard was a Nike endorser until 2018. He now endorses New Balance. A Nike spokesman declined comment Monday, saying the company does not discuss pending litigation. Leonard is scheduled to speak with reporters on Tuesday when practice resumes at the NBA Finals.
Nike told Leonard earlier this year to stop using the logo, the lawsuit said. Leonard is preparing to use the logo “on clothing lines, footwear and on other products and, among other things, in connection with sports camps and charity functions.”
Leonard claims that he developed the logo himself by tracing his very large hands. The ring and pinky fingers of the logo are shaped into a “K,” the middle finger and thumb form an “L″ and the index finger is designed to resemble an elongated “2″ — all nods to his initials and jersey number.
The suit said that Leonard “refined” the logo in December 2011 or January 2012, and eventually consented that Nike could use it on certain products. Leonard wants the court to decide that he is the author of the logo and that Nike “committed fraud” when registering the logo for copyright.