NBA star Kawhi Leonard debuted his new signature shoe during the 2020 NBA All-Star game on Feb. 16 in Chicago. The shoe from New Balance noticeably does not include the so-called “KL2” or “Klaw” logo because of Leonard’s ongoing legal dispute with Nike, Inc.
Rick Mescher explained Leonard’s lawsuit filed against Nike regarding that logo in his award-winning June 26, 2019 blog, “Kawhi Leonard v. Nike Inc.: How copyrights can trump trademarks.” In the lawsuit, Leonard claimed to be the sole author of the logo. This blog was such an excellent and detailed explanation of the copyright vs. trademark dispute, we are excited to share it won a Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing.
Rick followed up that blog with details on Nike’s response to the lawsuit, in the blog, “Kawhi Leonard v. Nike, Inc.: Copy, derivative work or distinct work?” which published on July 17, 2019.
The lawsuit was originally filed in the U.S. District Court Southern District of California. In Oct. 2019, a judge granted Nike’s request to move the suit to federal court in Oregon.