Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard sued Nike on Monday for allegedly copyrighting a logo he designed without his “knowledge or consent.” According to court documents filed in Southern California's district court, Leonard claimed he designed the logo—featuring a trace of his “notably large hand,” his initials, and a number he’s worn for most of his career—just after he was drafted into the NBA in 2011. As part of a Nike endorsement deal several years later, Leonard claims he let the company use a modified version of the logo on “certain merchandise” while Leonard was using the logo on other non-Nike affiliated projects. However, the Raptors player claims the company filed a copyright registration on the logo and “falsely represented in the application that Nike had authored the logo.” When he expressed interest in developing other “apparel and footwear” featuring the logo, Nike allegedly claimed it owned all the logo’s intellectual property and demanded he “cease and desist” from “unauthorized use of the Leonard Logo.” Leonard is suing for the right to use his logo and to have himself declared the logo’s sole author.
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