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Durant sued over “Durantula” nickname by ‘80s guitarist

Jun 21, 2012, 11:39 AM EDT

Kevin Durant AP

Can you “own” a nickname?

Actually, yes you can. Jeremy Lin just won a battle to own the rights to “Linsanity.”

That brings us to Kevin Durant, who has been called “Durantula” by fans since he was still wearing a green Sonics uniform. But now he is being sued for it, according to TMZ (hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie):

Durant was sued today in Federal Court by a guy named Mark Durante — a guitarist who, according to the lawsuit, was a big deal in the 80s … playing with Public Enemy, The Aliens, The Next Big Thing, and (our favorite) The Revolting Cocks.

TMZ obtained a copy of the lawsuit, in which Durante says he adopted the name “Durantula” for his “on-stage and performance persona” — and has used it to market “music, recordings, apparel, t-shirts, guitars, and related merchandise…

In the suit though, Durante claims Nike has used the moniker to launch a shoe campaign — and KD himself signed “Durantula” on basketballs that are for sale through his website. The guitarist says he registered the “Durantula” trademark. He’s suing for damages and an injunction stopping KD from using the name.

So it’s a guy likely kicked out of some mediocre at best ‘80s bands vs. the lawyers from Nike. Sure, that sounds like a fair fight.

And before you jump all over me for calling Public Enemy mediocre this is not THAT Public Enemy. As BDL researched, this is a 1978 rock combo band, not Flavor Flav and the groundbreaking hip hop group. I’ve seen that Public Enemy in concert. The “durantula’s” Public Enemy, not so much.

  1. alexb64 - Jun 21, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    Imagine how busy his lawyer will be when he finds out crowds chant “a-hole” at refs & opposing players sometimes!

  2. reesesteel23 - Jun 21, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Between being the scoring champ 2 years straight……being down 3-1 in the NBA Finals….and now this….Durant is starting to Really see what it feels like to be a Superstar in this league. Growing up before out eyes…

    • lyndseymarieee - Jun 21, 2012 at 4:21 PM

      3 year straight*

  3. 24thesho - Jun 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    This dude is a complete and utter fool.

  4. jag8r904 - Jun 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Wonder if he sued Public Enemy for stealing his bands name, too?

    • ccshocktalk - Jun 21, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      Yeah, because if he sued them they’d just show up at his door step and whoop his dumb @ss. Kendrick Perkins might do the same thing on behalf of KD.

  5. decimusprime - Jun 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Let’s hope he won’t suffocate on the mountain of motions and filings brought on by Nike before a ruling. Which will probably be settled out of court by Nike for a million. They will make 10x that over the course of the deal with KD.

  6. ss3walkman - Jun 21, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Agreed. Unfortunately he has proof and a case. Kd and Nike can’t up and change nicknames, especially for the future of the NBA. They’ll settle out of court where Nike will buy the rights to “Durantula”. The guy really doesn’t care about the name now with his career being over I’m sure. He just wants a big payday. I can’t knock him tho. I’m going to make a living creating various names and hope somehow one strikes big haha.

  7. anarchopurplism - Jun 21, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Too funny! Hopefully this artist tried to reach a deal before going to court to create leverage and is not bringing a lawsuit over “principal.” If so…..get over yourself buddy! Your lime has faded!

  8. nagaswan - Jun 21, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Didn’t Santi Gold have to change her name because a nobody loser from the 70’s sued her? I remember watching his video and crying from laughter.

    • genericcommenter - Jun 21, 2012 at 3:40 PM

      You mean 80s Infommercial LEGEND Santo Gold.

  9. Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 21, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Two things here:

    Jackie Gleason threatened to sue Hanna-Barbera for using an obvious likeness of his in Fred Flintstone when The Flintstones became a big hit. He could have conceivably won that had his friends not talked him out of it; although he was suing under slightly different grounds, and less concrete case law.

    This guitarist has lost it. Doesn’t matter if he marketed his materials on t-shirts and what not, if he didn’t PATENT it, he has no legal standing here.

    • wojowbk - Jun 21, 2012 at 3:18 PM

      You can’t PATENT a moniker or a name. You can only PATENT a tangible, purposeful, new object. You can TRADEMARK/COPYRIGHT a name though and it seems like the dude did. It might be stupid but this is America and he’s liable for his damages. If it wasn’t for laws like these there would be no way of stopping everyone from making a cola and calling it Coca-Cola. Doesn’t matter which “Durantula” is more famous, laws should be uniform across the board.

    • wingsdjy - Jun 21, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      You don’t Patent names, you get registered Trademarks for them. And according to the article, the guitarist did just that.

    • wingsdjy - Jun 21, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      Here’s the trademark: http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4003:s743sb.2.1

      Looks like the guy filed for it in 2008. I’m not a lawyer, but it seems like if KD can prove he used the name before 2008, he might be in the clear.

      • Kurt Helin - Jun 21, 2012 at 7:08 PM

        Thing is KD never calls himself this. Fans gave it to him, Nike picked it up, but Durant is about the last person in the world who would give himself a nickname.

      • ss3walkman - Jun 21, 2012 at 9:35 PM

        Jordan never called himself his airness neither. Whoever copyright/trademarked the name wins. Simple as that.

    • Randall Jenkins - Jun 21, 2012 at 3:40 PM

      You don’t PATENT things like this. It’s a Trademark, and if you know anything about IP, you DON’T have to register a Trademark. There is a difference between a TM and ®, and you can very easily win a court case without ever registering your trademark, you just need to use it. So actually it does matter “if he marketed his materials on t-shirts and what not”, in fact it’s one of the main things that matters.

      Hell, most baseball teams simply use a TM with their logos.

      I don’t think this guy actually has a great case, just simply pointing out the way is really is.

  10. Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 21, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Also, I recall a couple of members from the Wu-Tang Clan settling out of court for similar reasons. The most this guy could possibly get (even if he had it trademarked) is a few hush dollars in a closed-mouthed settlement.

  11. tomtravis76 - Jun 21, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    If Durante has all his ducks in a row, then it is Nike fault for not doing their research. He might be nobody on large platform, but at some point he was the Duarantula, and he took the steps needed to own those rights. It would be ashame if Nike crushed this guy just because he is not Nike rich.

  12. bcjim - Jun 21, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    MrW212….

    Reread the story. He claims he did TM it. Afaik, you can’t “patent” things of this sort and they would be good for only 17y anyway. TMs have indefinite lifetimes I assume.

  13. jengibre23 - Jun 21, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Dude nobody cares about some dumb guitarist from the 80s. The dudes 23 and besides lebron the biggest thing in sports. Leave him alone you douche

  14. bhester1906 - Jun 21, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Wow great timing….

  15. cantonbound13 - Jun 21, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    What a revolting cock

  16. manilamobb - Jun 21, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    I dont get how you can sue someone for having the same nickname as you. Its not like durant gave himself that nickname. there are two K-Marts (kevin and kenyon martin) in the league and you dont see them sueing eachother for it.

  17. cosanostra71 - Jun 21, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    sounds like he has an airtight case.

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