In a remarkable turn of events, professional athlete Luka Doncic finds himself trapped in a protracted legal skirmish with his mother, Mirjam Poterbin. To assert control over his eponymous brand, Doncic submitted a petition to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seeking the cancellation of the existing trademark. Regrettably, Ms Poterbin has remained steadfast in her refusal to relinquish her rights. In an exclusive interview with NBA reporter Marc Stein of The Stein Line on Substack, Doncic asserted, “There is much on the horizon that I eagerly anticipate, ranging from the growth of my career to a heightened focus on community involvement. As such, it becomes increasingly vital to control how I am perceived through branding.” This 2018 request originates in the authorisation Doncic granted during his rookie year, allowing his mother to register the ‘LUKA DONCIC 7’ trademark under her company without any initial objections. Regrettably, last year’s attempts to obtain a release of these rights through written correspondence proved futile.
In the previous season, Luka Doncic unveiled a fresh logo on his Jordan Brand footwear and attire, incorporating his initials LD, the number 77, and the letter “S”, representing Slovenia. However, when he endeavoured to trademark the name ‘Luka Doncic’, the USPTO issued a preliminary rejection, leaving him bereft of any legal rights to use or safeguard his name in branding initiatives. Consequently, ESPN’s Tim Stein reported that this latest filing is perceived as a final recourse in a bid to secure complete control over Doncic’s namesake and other entrepreneurial pursuits, such as their philanthropic foundation. Conflicting trademarks currently obstruct their ability to exercise unambiguous rights, even within their brand identity, rendering this legal maneuver a crucial step towards success in these endeavours.