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Chicago rocker Durante sues NBA’s Durant over use of ‘Durantula’

Updated: June 21, 2012 9:06PM

Chicago area rocker Mark Durante filed a federal lawsuit against NBA all-star Kevin Durant, claiming the scoring champion stole the nickname “Durantula” and is misleading consumers looking for his recordings and T-shirts.

Chicago area guitarist Mark Durante claims he adopted the name “Durantula” in the late 1980s and NBA all-star Kevin Durant, Nike and Panini America are illegally marketing the moniker, according to a suit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Durant is a 6-foot-9, 23-year-old old who has already won three scoring championships and will play in Game 5 of the NBA Finals Thursday night. Durante, who began playing guitar in 1968, has played with the Chicago alternative country band The Waco Brothers, KMFDM and The Revolting Cocks.

The suit claims Durante, of McHenry, trademarked “Durantula” in 1993 and released two solo albums under the moniker and used it on guitars, T-shirts and other merchandise for the past 19 years. He also has operated the website for the past 10 years.

It says Durant, Nike and Panini trading cards have been using the “Durantula” moniker on Durant’s website and on merchandise ranging from signed photos to shoes to cartoon characters.

“Due to a licensing and promotional campaign marketing which has flooded the marketplace with references to Kevin Durant as DURANTULA, Defendants have nearly consumed Plaintiff Mark Durante’s valuable, hard-earned identity which he has been cultivating and developing for nearly two decades,” the suit said.

The three-count lawsuit claims Durant’s use of Durantula “confuses and misleads consumers looking for Durante’s DURANTULA products, music and merchandise.” He claims trademark infringement, unfair competition and consumer fraud and is seeking a judge order the basketball player, Nike and Panini to stop using the moniker plus award unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

A representative for Durant could not be reached for comment. Nike and Panini did not respond to requests for comment.

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