Kobe Bryant is trying to hash out a settlement in the battle with a pharma company over “Black Mamba” before heading to trial.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Kobe is informing the court he is attempting to work out a deal with the pharma company Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals over his famous nickname.
The document reads, “The parties are actively engaged in negotiations for the settlement of this matter. Kobe, Inc. requests that this proceeding be suspended for 30 days to allow the parties to continue their settlement efforts.”
Back in December, the NBA legend suffered a huge setback in the battle over “Black Mamba.” The United States Patent and Trademark Office denied Bryant’s attempt to wrap up the battle.
Bryant has been fighting the pharmaceutical company Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals for years. Hi-Tech has been attempting to trademark “Black Mamba HYPERRUSH.” Bryant is fighting them being able to trademark it, accusing them of ripping off his famous nickname.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office shut down Kobe’s motion for summary judgment asking for them to void Hi-Tech’s trademark applications. They said the case would move forward and the parties would go to trial. They believe the evidence shows there is still much to be determined.
The board stated, “there is evidence in the record that: (1) Opposer admits that there is a species of snake known as BLACK MAMBA; (2) Bryant derived his nickname BLACK MAMBA from the Quentin Tarantino movie Kill Bill and (3) BLACK MAMBA is also the nickname of the boxer Roger Mayweather.”
The order stated, “At a minimum, there is a genuine dispute as to whether the term BLACK MAMBA points uniquely and unmistakably to Bryant.”
They ended, “we find that, in view of the aforementioned use by others of the term BLACK MAMBA, there is a genuine dispute as to whether the public would reasonably assume a connection between Bryant and Applicant’s goods.” The case is set to head to trial.
Back in 2015, the pharma company Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals filed to trademark the name “Black Mamba HYPERRUSH” to use to sell a line of ephedra-based diet pills. Kobe’s team filed to trademark his “Black Mamba” name one year after Hi-Tech.
Bryant and the pharma company have been battling it out since 2017 after Bryant demanded their trademarks not be approved, fearing it would cause confusion with consumers. He argued most people connect him with “Black Mamba” He even pointed to Nike using “hyper” their products, which would cause confusion with the diet pill name.
Hi-Tech fired back to Bryant’s opposition, calling him a bully and accusing him of overreaching his trademark rights to maliciously block their trademark.
The battle is ongoing. Beyonce is dealing with her own battle over "Blue Ivy."