NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo has filed a federal lawsuit demanding a company be stopped from illegally profiting off his name.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Giannis is suing a sports company named Fan Closet along with Stefen Hill and Phil Willett.
In the suit, he accuses the defendants of violating his trademark for “Greek Freak” and illegally hawking merchandise with his nickname. The NBA star says he has spent a ton of money, time and resources to build the “Greek Freak” brand. He was not pleased with Fan Closet selling counterfeit merch and contacted his lawyers.
They fired off a cease and desist to the company on March 27, 2020. The company reportedly handed over accounting for sales of their knock-off products.
However, Giannis says “Defendants failed to cooperate with Plaintiff in good faith to reach an agreement that would ensure that infringement has ceased, and Plaintiff is reasonably compensated for the damage he incurred.” Giannis says Fan Closest made a ton of money off him and he wants it all handed over immediately.
The NBA star has issues with the merchandise being a much lower quality than the clothing he sells. The suit reads, “There is no question that the products sold by Defendant under the GREEK FREAK mark were sold by Defendant with the purpose of confusing and misleading consumers into believing that they are purchasing products associated with or endorsed by Giannis Antetokounmpo, one of the most successful and popular NBA players.”
Giannis is seeking in excess of $2 million in damages for alleged federal trademark dilution, false labeling, conspiracy, violation of Gianni’s right of publicity, unjust enrichment, and trademark infringement.
The federal lawsuit accused the defendants of trademark infringement, counterfeiting of his trademark, trademark dilution, deceptive acts and practices and multiple other claims. He accused the company of selling merchandise, t-shirts and tank tops featuring “Greek Freak”. He sued seeking damages plus an injunction prohibiting the company from using his name.