Kobe Bryant is accusing a pharma company of profiting off his “Black Mamba” and selling products with prohibited substances and wants them stopped ASAP.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Kobe is trying a new tactic in his battle with a pharma company over who has the rights to use the name “Black Mamba.”
Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals and Kobe have been fighting each other over who can use the name “Black Mamba” for years.
In his new filings, Kobe is asking the trademark board to side with him once and for all. For the first time, Kobe has alleged Hi-Tech’s products contain substances banned by the FDA as a “dietary supplement.”
Kobe says he recently became aware of concerns “raised by both the FDA as well as the USPTO about the legality of the substances contained within the Product.”
He believes “the product, marketed and sought to be registered as a ‘dietary supplement,’ has contained and continues to contain prohibited substances by the FDA: DMAA and Methylsynephrine.”
Kobe Bryant wants the pharma company to be shut down from using “Black Mamba” ASAP.
Back in 2015, the pharmaceutical company Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals filed to trademark the name “Black Mamba HYPERRUSH” to use to sell a line of ephedra-based diet pills. Kobe’s team filed to trademark his “Black Mamba” name the year after Hi-Tech.
The NBA legend and the pharma company have been battling it out since 2017 after Kobe demanded their trademarks not be approved, fearing it would cause confusion with consumers. He argued that most connect him with Black Mamba and even pointed to Nike regularly using “hyper” their products, which would cause confusion with the diet pill.
Hi-Tech responded to Kobe’s opposition, calling him a bully and accusing him of overreaching his trademark rights to maliciously block their registration. The pharma company also says another athlete uses the “Black Mamba” nickname, boxer Roger Mayweather. He trademarked “Roger Black Mamba Mayweather” in 2013, and Hi-Tech claims that alone kills Kobe’s argument.
The battle is ongoing.