Nonprofit group to sue LeBron James’ company for infringing on trademark
Lakers superstar LeBron James and Uninterrupted LLC could be facing a legal battle, as a Maryland youth development nonprofit known as Game Plan Inc. has decided to sue them for infringing on their “I Am More Than An Athlete” trademark.
According to a report from bloomberglaw.com, Game Plan Inc. was using the slogan before James, who came up with the moniker in response to derogatory remarks from conservative commentator Laura Ingraham. As part of her comments, Ingraham noted that LeBron should “shut up and dribble” rather than express his political opinions.
Game Plan runs programs dedicated to “educating the youth to ascend through the ranks of high school and college athletics and academics in order to attain professional level success whether in sports or otherwise.” It owns a federal trademark registration covering the use of “I Am More Than An Athlete” on t-shirts.
James’ company denied the allegations set by Game Plan Inc. in an official statement:
“The complaint filed by Game Plan today is meritless and contains numerous factual inaccuracies,” the company said. “Uninterrupted owns prior rights in and to the More Than An Athlete trademark.”
As most NBA and Lakers fans know, James uses his “More than an athlete” slogan in a variety of ways. The phrase, which he started using in 2018, can often be found on his shoes, tee shirts, sweatpants and other bits of apparel.
James and the Lakers are enjoying a fantastic season, as their Western Conference-leading 41-12 overall record can attest. Let’s hope this legal matter can be resolved sooner rather than later.