Greek Freak Dunks on Spice Company in Trademark Win
Recently, Giannis Antetokounmpo — a famous NBA basketball player on the Milwaukee Bucks known as the “Greek Freak” and owner of the “Greek Freak” trademark — obtained a decisive trademark infringement victory against a spice company and its CEO for using the term “Greek Freak” as the name of a spice product.
Though Giannis did not register his trademark for spices, he was actively using his Greek Freak trademark on tee-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and backpacks. The registration and these uses, taken together with Giannis’ endorsement of a Greek food company that sells Greek herbs and spices, sealed the Greek Freak’s victory in the case.
The Court found that the spice company’s use of the “Greek Freak” trademark on its spice product was likely to confuse consumers into believing that Giannis was somehow connected, affiliated, or associated with the spice company.
Despite the fact that the spice company refused to participate in the case, Giannis was awarded more than $10,000 in damages and a permanent injunction barring marketing and sale of the infringing spice product.
This lawsuit presents an interesting example of recovery on a trademark infringement lawsuit against the infringing company – and its CEO — even though the infringing product was not in the category for which the trademark was registered. This case further demonstrates that a defendant’s failure to show up — and ensuing default — does not relieve the infringer from the pain of damages and injunctive relief for infringement.
The decision also reinforces the critical importance of registering trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Without registration of the “Greek Freak” trademark, a definitive end to the infringement would have been elusive.
SLG has extensive experience protecting names and logos with U.S. trademarks and enforcing trademark rights against infringers. We would be happy to assist your company to protect and enforce your trademarks. For more information on how SLG can assist your business, please contact SLG at email@example.com and see our trademark experience at https://www.shelgroup.com/practices/intellectual-property.
 Antetokounmpo v. Paleo Productions, LLC, 1:20-cv-06224-JGK-RWL (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 18, 2021) Dkt. #57.
 Antetokounmpo at Dkt. #57; #49.