Did Nike really come up with the 'Ballin' concept, or was it Adobe Bryant who pitched it to them?
Graphic designer Landon T. Jones has filed an idea theft suit against Nike for stealing his design for the NCAA’s “March Madness” promotional campaign.
Jones, aka Adobe Bryant, claims to have pitched his idea to Nike’s marketing executive in April 2020 by providing a Dropbox link.
He further claims that the executive looked at the deck multiple times, but never contacted him to approve or reject it.
The proposed campaign idea was to make use of the common basketball term “ballin” by putting the letter “b” and the letters “in” in one color, and the letters “all” in a different color, to read as both “ballin” and “b all in.”
Nike purportedly used Bryant’s design for its T-shirts worn by teams throughout the basketball playoffs in March this year.
In addition, Bryant claims that he created exclusive ownership of the unregistered trademark, which uses two contrasting colors to denote the meaning "be all in," through public commercial use, including licensing the mark to third parties prior to Nike's campaign.
Bryant also complained that Nike has wrongfully distributed, sold and licensed his mark to multiple retailers like Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. and BSN Sports LLC.
He alleged that sales of "colorful imitations" of his design are likely to confuse consumers about the origin of the mark.
Idea theft is a problem that many innovators face, and the financial loss and hurt feelings that arise from seeing your ideas copied by others without consent, credit and compensation can be very painful.
When you share this certificate along with your ideas during pitches, you signal to the recipients of your pitches that you are the creator of these ideas, and that you wish to be respected as such.
PitchMark helps innovators deter idea theft, so that third-parties that they share their idea with get the idea but don’t take it. Visit PitchMark.net and register for free as a PitchMark member today.