Nike and Kawhi Leonard have filed documents with the Federal District Court in Portland Oregon revealing that they have come to a settlement agreement in their year-long dispute over the ownership of Kawhi Leonard’s claw logo.
This dispute started on June 3, 2019 when Kawhi Leonard filed a lawsuit against Nike stating that he was the rightful owner of his claw logo. He claimed that he developed the logo while he was a Nike endorser and that he wanted to take it with him to New Balance.
Nike ended up counterclaiming against Kawhi on grounds that they believed they were creators of the logo, pointing to side-by-images of Kawhi’s rough draft and Nike’s final design.
Additionally, Nike stated that Kawhi signed a contract expressly acknowledging that Nike owned all the rights, title, and interest to any logos created during the term of his contract.
This case proceeded and Nike won in the Federal District Court, but in order to prevent an appeals process that would undeniably continue the case, the parties decided to settle.
While the terms of the settlement agreement are currently undisclosed, Kawhi Leonard’s trademark registration for the logo in dispute may be able to provide insight into the result of the case. As part of the litigation, Nike filed a cancelation action against this trademark registration. If Kawhi is able to maintain ownership in the logo (pursuant to a settlement agreement), Nike will move to withdraw this cancellation action in the coming days.