Giannis Antetokounmpo won a case last week over the unauthorized use of his trademark “Greek Freak” name, image and likeness rights.
These rights had been misappropriated and used to advertise jerseys, phone cases, clocks, pillows, greeting cards, shower curtains and even drug paraphernalia.
The two-time MVP, five-time All-Star and an NBA champ won the case he and his representatives had brought against Sherrie Richardson-Miller and Jordan Reyes. A federal magistrate in New York ordered the two to pay the Milwaukee Bucks superstar his attorneys’ fees and other costs.
Antetokounmpo, 27, sued them and others for using his trademark and NIL in products sold on etsy.com, redbubble.com and other online platforms.
In July, Antetokounmpo was awarded an injunction to stop the sale of these products, which featured references to “Greek Freak” and “Greek Fr34K.” The injunction came as part of a default judgment, meaning the defendants had not contested the lawsuit.
In his ruling, Judge James Cott explained that Antetokounmpo’s IP rights were violated and the defendants should pay $11,304.40.
Antetokounmpo now owns federally-registered “Greek Freak” trademark
“Antetokounmpo owns the federally registered “Greek Freak” trademark and has licensed his NIL for endorsed products.”
Some of those products, Judge Cott observed, resemble unauthorized ones sold by the defendants. “Consumers could be confused as to which ones Antetokounmpo actually endorses,” the judge ruled.
A little over $11,000 might seem inconsequential for Antetokounmpo, having already earned more than $108 million in NBA contracts. Last year Antetokounmpo signed a five-year, $228 million “super max” extension. He’s earned millions more in endorsement deals and now owns part of the Milwaukee Brewers.
However, Antetokounmpo, the Greek kid from Sepolia who in November met the President of the US at the White House, is sending a message to those tempted to misappropriate his IP: He will pursue them.