Kobe Bryant and his legal team are going with a new game plan in their battle against Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals for the right to use the name “Black Mamba.”
Both parties have been fighting in court since 2017 over the name. Hi-Tech filed to trademark it in 2015 for its line of diet pills called “Black Mamba Hyperrush.”
Bryant tried to trademark the name one year later and said since it’s been his nickname throughout his NBA career, people wouldn’t be able to distinguish the hoop player from the pills.
The five time champion also pointed to Nike commercials that use the word “hyper,” which he said would confuse folks even more with the Hyperrush diet pills.
Now, according to The Blast, in his new legal attack, the retired shooting-guard has accused Hi-Tech of selling products that contain substances that have been banned by the FDA as a dietary supplement. He wants the courts to automatically grant him the “Black Mamba” trademark as a result.
“The product, marketed and sought to be registered as a ‘dietary supplement,’ has contained and continues to contain prohibited substances by the FDA: DMAA and Methylsynephrine,” read newly filed legal documents.
During the legal back-and-forth, Hi-Tech accused Bryant of being a bully and not having a legitimate argument as to why he should get the rights to the Black Mamba name.
The company stated that his argument about people being confused is a flimsy one, because a professional boxer named Roger Mayweather already uses the moniker. And he even trademarked “Roger Black Mamba Mayweather” in 2013.
Bryant hasn’t spoken about any of this publicly and has maintained his silence since the very beginning.