A federal judge ruled in favor of Nike in a dispute over NBA star’s Kawhi Leonard signature “Klaw” logo.
In June 2019, Leonard, who plays for the Los Angeles Clippers, filed a federal lawsuit against Nike, claiming the footwear giant copyrighted the “Klaw” logo that he designed without his consent and is now blocking him from using the logo he believes he owns. Leonard claimed that he conceived and created the logo in college.
Leonard left Nike’s Jordan brand in 2018 to join New Balance.
In a countersuit filed in July 2019, Nike charged that Leonard did not create the logo, which debuted during his time with the San Antonio Spurs.
According to the Oregonian, U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman ruled that the Klaw logo that Nike designers helped create with Leonard marked an “independent piece of intellectual property” versus Leonard’s initial design.
“It’s not merely a derivative work of the sketch itself,’’ the judge ruled from the bench, according to the report. “I do find it to be new and significantly different from the design.”