LaVar Ball likes to claim he's an innovator, and that's the onus behind the Ball family patriarch's rising sneaker brand. Big Baller Brand may not strike a partnership with a sneaker giant like Nike, but thanks to his bluster, you'll at least remember the name. That's half the battle for an upstart company.
But just when you thought things were looking up for Ball and Big Baller Brand, reality has come crashing down, and they may be in hot water, because it appears their logo shares a striking similarity with that of a Canadian yogo studio. The owner of Modern Body yoga studio, Hana Engel, says she's not going to tolerate what she feels is theft of her logo for LaMelo Ball's signature sneaker, the Melo Ball 1's.
"I don’t want it to be, ‘Oh she’s a little yoga studio in Ottawa Canada, who cares we can get away with this,' it’s my logo and I protected it for a reason," said Engel during an interview with CTV in Ottawa. Engel has reportedly gone through a lot to protect her logo, beginning the trademark copyright process in 2014 and eventually earning a full license in Canada earlier this year.
Looking at the two logos, it's hard to ignore just how similar the lettering is:
But even if the studio owner believes she has a worthwhile case, there's a potentially huge snag here: her trademark has yet to receive approval in the United States, which could end up complicating her claim as it pertains to Ball. That hasn't stopped Engel from preparing for a legal defense where she does have, and her copyright lawyer has already sent a letter to Big Baller Brand warning them about the potential consequences of violating her copyright. "Any use of the Big Baller Mark in Canada by your client will be considered an infringement of our client’s exclusive trademark rights," reads the letter.
Something tells me the Ball family is not going to be fazed by a little resistance from a Canadian yoga studio. LaVar Ball has already expressed a willingness to take on the NCAA over eligibility issues if LaMelo Ball's signature sneaker becomes a problem, and not to dismiss her using her own imagined argument, but she is just one yoga studio from Canada.
That doesn't make this right or fair if Ball did jack the logo, and you'll have to stay tuned to see if Big Baller Brand gets turned into Medium Baller Brand as a result of the dispute.