Kevin Durant is one of the most talented NBA (basketball) players. Most of the NBA players have nicknames. The one of Kevin is NK and sometimes Durantula, because of Kevin’s spindly length.
An 80s guitarist called Mark Durante now claims that he trademarked the name “Durantula” years ago. Mark Durante is now suing Durant, his representatives, and Nike.
Mark Durante already sent in 2010 a letter to Kevin Durant mentioning his trademark. Kevin Durant responded that he did not use the name Durantula as a nickname and confirmed that he wouldn’t do this. As time flies things change, apparently the promoters of Kevin Durant liked the name and started to sell Durantula merchandise including a shoe of Nike.
Can a nickname be a valid trademark? Why not? A nickname has the same functions as a trademark, namely, distinguishing products / services of persons etc. Sometimes nicknames are more famous than the real names, think of Bono and the Edge of U2. It could become serious in the event Mark Durante can show real use of the name Durantala (for products or services). MarkMatters.com will keep you posted on this nicknameinfringement case.