March 3, 2022
As reported by Bloomberg and the Spokesman Review, Giannis Antetokounmpo, the 6-foot-11 power forward for the Milwaukee Bucks, has filed over 40 lawsuits over the past two years stemming from alleged violations of his registered trademark. The trademark in question is “Greek Freak”, a name Antetokounmpo has become well-known by on and off the court.
Athletes are increasingly turning to trademarking their names or slogans, as endorsement deals from large corporations are no longer the sole way to monetize their athletic success or fame. As such, the need for stronger protections, and more frequent enforcement has never been more crucial. Unauthorized branding of merchandise has also become increasingly prevalent, as the ease with which any person could print and sell any item has never been higher.
In Antetokounmpo’s case, these alleged infringements took the form of various products, including spice blends, trading cards, and even shower curtains.
Authors: Em Windrim and Awale Deria