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NBA Star Kawhi Leonard Demands Nike's Lawsuit Be Thrown Out of Court

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By Ryan Naumann

NBA star Kawhi Leonard is asking a judge to throw out Nike’s lawsuit against him.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Leonard is responding to the countersuit recently filed by Nike.

The NBA star and Nike are battling over a design they both claim to own. Leonard originally sued Nike demanding they stop profiting off a design he claims to have created. Nike then hit back with their own lawsuit seeking an injunction from Leonard using the logo, claiming they owned the work. They also want him to pay damages.

In the newly filed documents, Leonard denies all allegations of wrongdoing in Nike’s countersuit. He states, “Defendant’s Counterclaims and each count therein fail because Plaintiff, not Defendant, is the exclusive owner of the Leonard Logo.”

Leonard also claims any damage suffered by Nike is their own doing. He wants all claims against him dismissed and his case to move forward. He even requests for Nike to cover his legal bills.

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The Blast

Earlier this year, Leonard sued Nike over his Trademarked logo accusing him of ripping off his work.

In the suit, he claimed that he created a unique logo for himself after he was drafted to the NBA in 2011.

"Leonard traced his notably large hand," the lawsuit stated, "and, inside the hand, drew stylized versions of his initials 'KL' and the number that he had worn for much of his career, '2.'"

He claimed that as part of his endorsement deal with Nike several years later, he "allowed Nike to use on certain merchandise the logo he created while Leonard continued to use the logo on non-Nike goods."

But, he claimed that unbeknownst to him, "Nike filed an application for copyright registration of his logo and falsely represented in the application that Nike had authored the logo."

Kawhi Leonard claims that he wants to use the logo for "clothing lines, footwear and on other products and, among other things, in connection with sports camps and charity functions, but Nike explicitly has objected to such uses."

The NBA star is asking a judge to declare that he is the rightful owner of the logo and to rule that Nike "committed fraud on the Copyright Office in registering the Leonard Logo."

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Kawhi Leonard claims that he wants to use the logo for "clothing lines, footwear and on other products and, among other things, in connection with sports camps and charity functions, but Nike explicitly has objected to such uses."

The NBA star is asking a judge to declare that he is the rightful owner of the logo and to rule that Nike "committed fraud on the Copyright Office in registering the Leonard Logo."

Gettyimages | Ezra Shaw

Nike responded by counter-suing Leonard for using a design they claim to own.

In their response to his lawsuit, they deny all allegations of wrongdoing against Leonard. They explain Leonard signed a deal with them in 2011, which expired in September 2018.

During their partnership, Leonard provided them with designs to use on merchandise. They claim to have used one he gave them and sold products he promoted with it. They claim all designs worked on during the contract are owned by them. Further, they claim the Nike team was the one who created the final design used.

Gettyimages | Pool

Once their deal ended, Nike says they found out about Leonard using the design he gave them on other non-Nike products. They told him that was a breach of their deal but he refused to cease.

They claim he then sued them during the NBA finals and even started hawking on clothes during the finals without their permission. Nike is demanding Leonard’s lawsuit against them be dismissed and the court grant a permanent injunction against him from using the design. They are also seeking damages from Leonard.

Both cases are ongoing.

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