Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks open their season tonight against the Phoenix Suns, the team they embarrassed in the second round of last year’s Western Conference. But another story about the personal nature surrounding the Mavericks guard has recently surfaced.
In today’s social media world, branding is one of the things that can help you stand out in a sometimes crowded media market. In addition, the need to brand your name and image can add to the annual income in the millions for superstar players. That’s where Doncic and his mother Mirjam Poterbin come into this story.
The most famous guard of the Dallas Mavericks joined Real Madrid at the age of 13 and made his professional debut at 16. Doncic has admitted that his mother in 2018 was allowed to patent the tag “Luka Doncic 7” after Doncic signed a 207 million-dollar extension in the summer of 2021 and established Luka99 inc.
The problem with Doncic is that he can’t post a logo using his own name. You heard right. Luka Doncic can’t identify his name because of the previously mentioned identification given by his mother. Doncic tried to submit three logos last summer and was turned down by a scout because the “Luka Doncic 7” logo would bother buyers.
Doncic filed a cancellation petition stating that Potermin (his own mother!) is not currently using the trademark in the United States. The petition also cited Lanham Act section 2(a), which states that Doncic is not associated with his mother’s trademark, and section 2(c) which prohibits mention of a living person and disagree. But, of course, it goes deeper than the legal part of this story.
The questionable part of this story is that Doncic’s mother took control of his career when he turned 13 and continued his professional career with Real Madrid. So, even if Doncic’s legal turn-of-the-year approval is granted, shouldn’t his right to his pre-18 career be included in the waiver petition?
The decision, in this case, will have far-reaching implications considering the new law that allows college athletes to benefit from their appearance may affect other trademark cases. Experts disagree on the outcome of this case, but it will affect how Luka Doncic can market his brand moving forward, which is important for the young star.
Let’s hope the Doncic family can have a good Thanksgiving (or Slovenian equivalent) without any issues between mother and son. That would be sad.