Milwaukee Bucks superstar MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo recently filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the Fan Closet, LLC. Antetokounmpo alleges in the complaint that the Fan Closet, LLC sold merchandise using his trademark GREEK FREAK without obtaining his permission. He is asking for injunctive relief as well as seeking monetary damages and attorney’s fees.
Antetokounmpo earned his nickname “Greek Freak” while playing overseas before his rise to stardom in the NBA. The nickname represents his athleticism and the fact that he was born and raised in Greece. The nickname stuck given that his last name is not easy to pronounce, and he is widely recognized by that nickname.
Greek Freak Trademarks
Antetokounmpo owns a trademark registration for GREEK FREAK. Goods listed for the trademark include backpacks and clothing such as shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, hooded sweatshirts, jackets, hooded jackets, sports jerseys, socks, warm up suits, caps, and hats.
In broadening his brand, Antetokounmpo has also filed an intent to use trademark application for GREEK FR34K. The mark references his jersey number “34″. The mark recites goods including fragrances for men, nutritional supplements, backpacks, clothing, sports drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages, and snack foods. He also filed the mark for product endorsement services. The mark was approved and will register once a statement of use is filed. He also recently filed another intent to use application for GREEK FREAK for entertainment services such as online computer gaming.
Antetokounmpo is no stranger to defending his mark. He filed a $2 million lawsuit against a Pennsylvania artist in July 2019 after the artist failed to file a response to a cease and desist letter. The artist designed shirts bearing Antetokounmpo’s image as part of a “Greek Freak” collection. The two sides reached an undisclosed settlement in September.
He filed another $2 million lawsuit against Viral Style, LLC in August of 2019 for trademark infringement. The company sold merchandise using the GREEK FREAK mark. Similar to the first lawsuit, the two sides reached a settlement.
As recognized by Antetokounmpo, the importance of defending your brand is paramount. If trademark infringement is found for his marks, Antetokounmpo can not only obtain injunctive relief to stop the infringers from selling the infringing products, he can also obtain monetary damages, which may be substantial.