Emotions got the best of National Basketball Association (NBA) star Kevin Durant last night after he and his Oklahoma City Thunder teammates suffered a final loss against the Miami Heat in the all-important final game of the championship series. On top of the crushing defeat, the 23-year-old hoops player now is facing a trademark infringement lawsuit.
On Wednesday, guitarist Mark Durante filed suit against Durant, Nike Inc. and the memorabilia company Panini America, claiming they are infringing on his trademark nickname, Durantula. According to his complaint, Durante officially trademarked the nickname Durantula in 2010. He has released albums under the nickname Durantula and has maintained his website, durantula.com, for more than a decade.
Durant adopted the Durantula moniker when he rose to fame in the NBA, and Nike and Panini have featured the nickname on basketballs, photos and in shoe campaigns.
As Thomson Reuters notes, the Durantula squabble isn’t the first NBA nickname legal story of the year. In February, New York Knicks breakout star Jeremy Lin filed to trademark his nickname, Linsanity.