Durant, Nike being sued over 'Durantula' nickname
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Friday, June 22, 2012
6/22/12 at 6:29 AM
A heavy metal guitarist is suing Kevin Durant over the nickname "Durantula."
Mark Durante - who played with The Aliens, Public Enemy, The Next Big Thing and the Slammin Watusis in the 1980s - claims that he has used the nickname for more than 20 years and holds a trademark for the moniker.
His lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the Northern District Court of Illinois, demands that Durant stop using the nickname and requests unspecified punitive damages.
It also lists Nike, K. Durant Enterprises and trading card company Panini America as defendants, claiming that they have profited from using the nickname in advertising and merchandise.
Basketball fans have popularized the nickname for the Oklahoma City Thunder star, who has led the NBA in scoring for three straight years.
In a letter submitted with the lawsuit, a representative of Landmark Sports Agency, which represents Durant, tells Durante's attorney that the basketball star "has not authorized nor licensed the use of the 'Durantula' mark to any company" and that he "does not intend to market or merchandise" the nickname.
But the lawsuit maintains that "the defendants continue their flooding of the marketplace with unlicenced references" to the nickname.
Landmark Sports Agency did not respond to the Tulsa World's request for a comment Thursday.
Durante is "widely known and highly regarded" by the nickname in the music industry, the lawsuit says.
The guitarist adopted it in the late 1980s and has used it since 1993 in connection with music and merchandise, according to the filings. A document submitted with the lawsuit lists the trademark's registration date in February 2010.
Durante also owns the website www.durantula.com, the lawsuit says.
The Thunder played the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals on Thursday night.
Original Print Headline: Lawsuit filed over 'Durantula'
Zack Stoycoff 918-581-8486