Report: Raptors' Kawhi Leonard Files Lawsuit Against Nike over 'Klaw' Logo

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2019

TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 02: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors talks to the media during a press conference after Game Two of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors on June 2, 2019 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard has filed suit against Nike regarding the use of his "Klaw" signature logo with the company, according to Portland Business Journal's Matthew Kish

In the suit, Leonard says he helped design the logo and that Nike filed for a formal copyright without first receiving his consent.

Huffington Post's Sam Levine obtained a copy of Leonard's lawsuit.

"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,'" his lawyers wrote. "The drawing Leonard authored was an extension and continuation of drawings he had been creating since early in his college career."

Leonard's representatives argue Nike "falsely represented" in its copyright application that the company had created the "Klaw" logo.

Leonard was under the Jordan Brand umbrella for the entirety of his NBA career until the brand declined to continue negotiations over a new contract in 2018. 

The three-time All-Star signed with New Balance last November, with ESPN.com's Nick DePaula reporting the deal was likely worth "significantly more than" $5 million annually.

In addition to this new legal drama, the "Klaw" logo could be a focus for one of the biggest free-agent pursuits of the summer.

The New York Times' Marc Stein reported May 29 the Los Angeles Clippers "are said to have quietly looked into the feasibility" of purchasing the rights to use the design. The Clippers would then use that as a selling point during a meeting with Leonard this offseason, assuming he opts out of his contract with the Raptors.