Kobe Bryant Every Bit As Useless As His Lawyers Predicted In Trademark Opposition

from the mamba-mumble dept

Late last year, we wrote about a fairly strange case of a trademark opposition involving Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals and its Black Mamba HYPERRUSH line of diet pills, and Kobe Bryant and his Black Mamba line of being a basketball player. The whole thing was both messy and rather pointless. Pointless because the pharma market and anything Kobe Bryant is involved in are quite divergent marketplaces, making the trademark opposition fairly pointless. And, yet, it's been going on for years. Messy, because the timelines are not particularly in Bryant's favor, given that Hi-Tech applied for its mark a year before Bryant applied for his, leading to Hi-Tech requesting to depose Bryant and get documents from him detailing exactly how he came up with his nickname. Bryant's lawyers rebutted the request by suggesting that deposing Bryant would be like deposing Lil Wayne, because the present is a farce we're all somehow forced to live through.

Instead, Bryant's lawyers insisted he answer only written questions, all while warning that Bryant's answers would probably be entirely useless. They predicted that Bryant wouldn't recall the answers to the questions Hi-Tech would want to ask, which is more than a little odd, given that this all centers around how he came up with his now-famous nickname. But, give credit where credit is due: Hi-Tech is now complaining that Bryant has been every bit as useless as his lawyers predicted.

The pharma company says they fired off a list of questions they wanted to be answered by Kobe and certain documents they requested him to turn over. The company claims that Kobe has given evasive or incomplete answers and refused to turn over everything based on “unreasonable objections.”

Hi-Tech argues they cannot prepare for the upcoming trial if Kobe does not hand over the docs ASAP.

They want answers on how he came up with the nickname “Black Mama,” saying their research shows he has given different answers over the years. They allege Kobe has once said it was based on the species of snake but also claimed it was because of the film “Kill Bill,” which had a character named “Black Mamba.”

The pharma company is demanding Kobe turn over all documents and communications concerning his use of the name in business and records of any products sold under the mark.

It's worth keeping in mind that Kobe Bryant is the one that issued the opposition to Hi-Tech's trademark application here, not the other way around. And, again, the timing of each party's application doesn't serve to bolster Bryant's side of things. Given that the nickname is the center of this conflict, the questions that Hi-Tech is asking aren't exactly unreasonable. And the company sure seems to think Bryant has answers or documents that are going to be good for its case.

A case which, again, is of an opposition that never should have happened. Kobe Bryant does not make drugs or diet pills. Nothing about Hi-Tech's branding suggests there is any involvement by Bryant. Other athletes, in fact, have used the Black Mamba nickname. Maybe it's time for Bryant to drop this and move on.

Filed Under: black mamba, kobe bryant, trademark
Companies: hi-tech pharamceuticals

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  1. icon
    ysth (profile), 10 Apr 2019 @ 7:49pm

    Black Mama should be Black Mamba?

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