Chicago-area guitar player Mark Durante (right) has filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma City Thunder star player Kevin Durant (left) for use of the nickname “Durantula,” reports the Chicago Tribune. Durante claims he started using the nickname in the late 1980s and that Durant, Nike and Panini America are illegally marketing the nickname.
Durante has played with various bands over the years, including Chicago alternative country band The Waco Brothers, KMFDM and The Revolting Cocks. Durant is a 23-year-old NBA phenom who stands 6’9” and has won the NBA scoring title three years in a row.
But the suit claims the “Durantula” nickname “confuses and misleads consumers looking for Durante’s DURANTULA products, music and merchandise.” These products include recordings, t-shirts, guitars and other merchandise.
Durant has been using the moniker on his personal website, signed photos, trading cards, shoes and cartoon characters.
Durante claims trademark infringement, which is a count he may be able to prove, since he claims he did trademark the moniker. But we aren’t sure consumers are confused and therefore punitive damages (which Durante is seeking and which are awarded when compensatory damages are not seen as an adequate remedy) may be a stretch.