According to ESPN, Leonard has filed a lawsuit against Nike over his famous “Klaw” logo. The paperwork was filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in an attempt to reclaim control over the logo, which the NBA champion says he created.
Leonard is known for his large hands — which make his handle and ball-control nearly perfect — and after being picked 15th in the 2011 draft, he decided to make that trademark feature part of his logo.
“In 2011, just after being drafted to the National Basketball Association, Kawhi Leonard authored a unique logo that included elements that were meaningful and unique to him,” the lawsuit reads. “Leonard traced his notably large hand, and, inside the hand, drew stylized versions of his initials ‘KL’ and the number that he had worn for much of his career, ‘2.’ The drawing Leonard authored was an extension and continuation of drawings he had been creating since early in his college career.”
Leonard spent several years endorsed by the Swoosh, which is when the lawsuit alleges that the brand — after Kawhi allowed it to use the logo on his branded merchandise — filed an application for copyright registration without informing his team.
The lawsuit goes on to say that the 27-year-old plans on using the logo in various capacities but can’t now that Nike has rights to the logo. The main goal is for Leonard to become the sole owner of the logo and have the freedom use it as he pleases. And since he ended his partnership with Nike in 2018, he likely wants to use the logo with the company that’s been lacing him during his stay in Toronto, New Balance.