Law of Cards: Kevin Durant, Panini and Nike Sued Over “Durantula” Trademark
Panini now finds itself involved in a second heavy metal battle. First, Topps picked a fight with it over Panini's "Chromium" trademarks. Now, Panini, along with Kevin Durant and Nike, finds themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit from guitarist Mark Durante (from bands such as Public Enemy, The Aliens, The Next Big Thing, The Slammin' Watusis, KMFDM and The Waco Brothers) over the term "Durantula."
Legal side note: Yeah, I have to admit it, I like KMFDM. And I'm going to need to check out the Waco Brothers.
According to the complaint, Durante (not to be confused with Durant, although, being this is a trademark case, that's the point) adopted the name "Durantula" for his on-stage persona in the late 1980s and has used it continually since. This includes the last 10 years on his website durantula.com.
Of importance, Durante also owns a registered trademark for "Durantula." Information on the registered mark is provided below:
|Goods and Services||IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Audio recordings featuring music; Digital music downloadable from the Internet; Downloadable MP3 files, MP3 recordings, on-line discussion boards, webcasts and podcasts featuring music, audio books and news broadcasts; Downloadable musical sound recordings; Downloadable ring tones, graphics and music via a global computer network and wireless devices; Downloadable video recordings featuring music; Musical sound recordings; Musical video recordings. FIRST USE: 19930101. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19930101|
|Standard Characters Claimed|
|Mark Drawing Code||(4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK|
|Filing Date||July 20, 2008|
|Original Filing Basis||1A|
|Published for Opposition||December 1, 2009|
|Registration Date||February 16, 2010|
|Owner||(REGISTRANT) Durante, Mark N. INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 1818 W. Oakleaf Dr. McHenry ILLINOIS 60051|
|Type of Mark||TRADEMARK|
|Other Data||The name(s), portrait(s), and/or signature(s) shown in the mark does not identify a particular living individual.|
In 2010, when Kevin Durant was on the rise, Durante contacted the basketball star's people with his concerns, to which Eric Goodwin, President of Goodwin Sports Management responded:
"Kevin Durant never authorized any company or media outlet the use of the term 'Durantula'" and that "Kevin not use the term as a nickname and no intention of doing so."
According to the complaint, despite these reassurances, the name "Durantula" has continued to be used with Kevin Durant, has caused confusion, and therefore, Durante is left with no choice but to bring suit.
Specific to Panini (this is Law of Cards after all), Durante is concerned about "an autographed Durantula basketball for sale by co-defendant Panini America, Inc….through Durant's website" and "an autographed 'Durantula vs. Mamba' signed photograph also for sale by Panini and accessible through Durant's website."
Now, in regards to Panini, this is a smaller lawsuit, so I'd expect them to settle rather quickly. It may lead to Panini having to squash a planned Kevin Durant short print for 2012-13 NBA Hoops that had the Durantula nickname.
I would also expect Durant to settle it too especially if he does not want to be known as the "Durantula" which, when it comes to basketball, is an odd nickname. And this letter seems to confirm, Durant wants nothing to do with this nickname.
But hey, this lawsuit may coin a new nickname for Durant: The Artist Formerly Known as Durantula.
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