Nike files countersuit against Kawhi Leonard over control of ‘Klaw’ logo


Nike, however, argues the logo that was copyrighted was not the original design from Leonard, but instead one that the company designed itself as an improved revision.

During their partnership, Leonard provided them with designs to use on merchandise.

News of Leonard's lawsuit against Nike filtered out during the NBA Finals, while he was a member of the Toronto Raptors.

Nike confirmed the Leonard shared a design with the company while he was in college, but claimed that the sketch and the finished logo have unique differences while asserting ownership of the "Klaw", which Leonard continued to use and wear on apparel after his Nike deal had expired.

"What is false is that the design he provided was the Claw Design", the countersuit states, according to the San Antonio Express-News' Patrick Danner.

But, Nike says that's simply not the case. explaining they collaborated with Kawhi in 2014 to come up with an original design.

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Nike is seeking to have the case moved to OR, which is where the company is headquartered.

You may have also heard, that at one point this summer, LA Clippers' owner Steve Ballmer tried to purchase the logo back from Nike in order to gift it to Leonard, should he end up choosing the Clippers in free agency. The company accuses Leonard of "reproducing" its claw design on non-Nike apparel during the National Basketball Association finals in violation of Nike's exclusive copyright.

Translation. Nike isn't backing down - in fact, they're declaring war of their own!

By mid-March, Nike demanded he "cease and desist" any unauthorized use of the logo. He said Nike, during Leonard's time partnered with Jordan Brand, did not have his OK to apply for the copyright registration.

The countersuit also reiterates later that Leonard is trying to take credit for the work of the logo's designers by saying he owns it despite providing only the initial rough draft of the design.

Nike countered in its Wednesday filing, which was done in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California - the same court where Leonard filed his suit.