Nike Wins Against Kawhi Leonard in “Klaw” Logo Copyright Lawsuit

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers before the game against the Denver Nuggets

After a 10-month long legal battle, NBA star Kawhi Leonard just lost his copyright lawsuit to Nike over the “Klaw” logo.

According to TMZ Sports, on Wednesday the presiding judge ruled in favor of the footwear giant in the dispute over who has the rights to the logo. U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman decided that the “Klaw” logo created by Nike with Leonard’s help was an “independent piece of intellectual property,” meaning Leonard doesn’t own it.

Leonard sued Nike in June 2019 — less than a year after he left Jordan Brand for New Balance — claiming the company improperly copyrighted the logo, which was used on his line of collaborative Jordan Brand sneakers. He claimed the image belonged to him because he designed it, saying he came up with the idea of the Klaw design (a hand incorporating his initials) while in college.

Nike responded in July by countersuing for copyright infringement, fraud, and breach of contract. It argued that while Leonard had forwarded a “rough draft” sketch, the NBA player had approved a proposed design created by Nike as part of his contract (which ran from 2011 to 2018).

According to The Oregonian, Leonard’s attorney Peter Ginsberg addressed the outcome saying, “Kawhi put his heart and soul into that design so we are obviously disappointed the judge ruled the logo belongs to Nike and not Kawhi.” Kawhi’s legal team says they are considering their options moving forward.

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