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Law of Cards: Kevin Durant, Panini and Nike Sued Over "Durantula" Trademark

Law of Cards: Kevin Durant, Panini and Nike Sued Over “Durantula” Trademark

Law of Cards: Kevin Durant, Panini and Nike Sued Over 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 ServicesIC 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
Serial Number77526704
Filing DateJuly 20, 2008
Current Basis1A
Original Filing Basis1A
Published for OppositionDecember 1, 2009
Registration Number3748227
Registration DateFebruary 16, 2010
Owner(REGISTRANT) Durante, Mark N. INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 1818 W. Oakleaf Dr. McHenry ILLINOIS 60051
Other DataThe name(s), portrait(s), and/or signature(s) shown in the mark does not identify a particular living individual.
Live/Dead IndicatorLIVE

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.

The information provided in Paul Lesko's "Law of Cards" column is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues commonly encountered in the sports industry. This information is not intended to create any legal relationship between Paul Lesko, the Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC or any attorney and the user. Neither the transmission nor receipt of these website materials will create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the readers.

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Paul Lesko has litigated complex and intellectual property actions for over 18 years. Don’t hold the fact that Paul is a lawyer against him, he’s also a rabid baseball and college basketball fan, and an avid card collector. He's also the author of the novel Gastric Bypass, available for purchase at Amazon. Paul can be found on Twitter @Paul_Lesko and Google+.

User Comments


No kidding…and now that he’s losing that one, what’s next? Durantelope? Duranteater? The bad possibilites (unfortunately) are endless.

Not to mention the obvious (given he is a defendant in a lawsuit): Dur-defend-ant.


Lame nickname and I dont blame Durant for not wanting it.

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