Orange County - Kevin Durant fans are known to refer to him as Durantula. The name became so popular that it soon began popping up on posters, pictures and even shoes. However, according to Mark Durante, the name Durantula belongs to him, and the use, regardless of how temporary, is a trademark infringement. To protect his trademarked name, Mark Durante is suing Panini, Nike and Kevin Durant over the use of the trademark. Durante is seeking an injunction to prevent the involved parties from using his trademarked term, as well as monetary damages.
Part of the goal of trademark protection is to protect specific terms, names or other words and to prevent a likelihood of consumer confusion. Mark Durante, a musician who plays guitar for groups such as Public Enemy, The Next Big Thing, KMFDM and others, claims that he has been using Durantula as his stage persona for over 20 years. His website Durantula.com has been in continuous use for ten years. Durante asserts that he took the time and paid the proper fees to have the name trademarked in order to assure its use would be protected. Consequently, he considers the name Durantula a very important part of his stage presence and vows to protect it to the fullest extent of the law.
Kevin Durant, a popular forward for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA, claims that he never authorized, agreed to, or called himself by the nickname Durantula. However, despite his insistence, he has refused requests to stop using the name. In the wake of a showering of fans using the term Durantula as synonymous with his aggressive basketball persona, Durant has obviously accepted its use by fans and promoters. Autographed basketballs, posters and pictures are currently being sold by Panini America and are available on Durant's website. Mark Durante claims that his trademarked term Durantula is also being used by Durant on memorabilia and to promote a line of Nike shoes.