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Giannis Antetokounmpo Sues Trading Card Maker for “Greek Freak” Infringement

Last Updated: January 18, 2022
The two-time MVP and reigning NBA champ has taken issue with Leaf Trading Cards’ use of his famous nickname, alleging trademark infrigement.

On the court, Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged 1.5 blocks per game for the world champion Milwaukee Bucks. This week, he’s trying to record a different kind of block in a court of law.

The 27-year-old two-time NBA MVP is suing Leaf Trading Cards LLC in federal court on Monday in the Southern District of New York for trademark infringement via unauthorized use of his world-famous “Greek Freak” nickname, per attorney Josh Gerben of Gerben Intellectual Property.

The suit alleges that Antetokounmpo and Leaf “entered into an intellectual property licensing agreement” in May 2013, a month before Milwaukee made him the 15th pick in the NBA Draft, but the agreement was terminated in May 2014 and not renewed.

First page of legal filing from Giannis Antetokounmpo accusing Leaf Trading Cards, LLC of unauthorized use of the trademarked “Greek Freak” moniker (h/t Josh Gerben)

“Nevertheless, without Antetokounmpo’s knowledge, consent or remuneration, Leaf continued selling items bearing the GREEK FREAK mark and Antetokounmpo’s name, nickname, picture, and likeness,” the document reads.

Giannis, represented by the New York City-based law firm of Pardalis & Nohavicka, filed suit for trademark infringement, federal trademark dilution, and interference with prospective economic advantage, as well as confusing and deceiving the public that Leaf and the two-time MVP were still associated. The suit alleges that Antetokounmpo sent Leaf a cease-and-desist letter on or around Aug. 16, 2021, and subsequently responded but “failed to cooperate with Antetokounmpo’s reasonable requests.”

Just last month, Antetokounmpo won a similar trademark infringement lawsuit against a pair who sold “Greek Freak” and “Greek Fr34k” items on Etsy.

Giannis has reportedly filed nearly 50 lawsuits over the last two years against individuals or companies who have improperly used his trademark nickname.

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About The Author
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung is a Senior Staff Writer at Boardroom. He has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with past work appearing in Forbes, MLB.com, Awful Announcing, and The Sporting News. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2011, and his Twitter and Spotify addictions are well under control. Just ask him.