LOS ANGELES • Kawhi Leonard is suing Nike, claiming the sportswear giant is taking credit for creating the logo that appeared on his Nike-endorsed apparel, according to the Portland Business Journal.
In a lawsuit filed on Monday in the United States District Court in Southern California, the Toronto Raptors basketball star contends that he designed the logo but that Nike claimed otherwise in a copyright registration.
In the nine-page legal filing, he said the "Klaw" logo was derived from sketches he drew before turning professional and that he gave Nike permission to place them "on certain merchandise" during his endorsement deal with it from 2011.
However, he added that the company did not have his approval to apply for the copyright registration.
He endorsed Nike until his contract expired in October last year and subsequently signed a deal with New Balance.
The New York Times reported last week that the Los Angeles Clippers, one of several National Basketball Association teams expected to pursue him in free agency next month, had "quietly looked into the feasibility of purchasing the portion of the rights to Leonard's logo that is still owned by Nike".
The All-Star is preparing for Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors today, with the series tied 1-1.