NBA Legend Kobe Bryant and Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals have been in a trademark dispute over the use of the name “Black Mamba” since last year. But recently, Kobe believes the pharma company has been filing scandalous court documents that reveal private discussions in an attempt to get him to settle.
Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals stated that Kobe’s lawyer told them, “Deposing Kobe Bryant would be like Lil Wayne’s deposition … it would be just like that – he’d just be saying ‘I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know,’” and that if they tried to depose Kobe, they would get a room full of attorneys and “you can try, but it’s never going to happen.”
Remember, a few years ago in Lil Wayne’s infamous deposition where he answered, “I don’t recall” to almost every question? That’s what Kobe’s lawyer was getting at.
But now, in newly filed court documents obtained by The Blast, Kobe’s lawyer is demanding the statements he allegedly made be excluded from the record as completely irrelevant and based off settlement discussions.
According to The Blast, Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals filed to trademark the name “Black Mamba HYPERRUSH” in 2015, for a line of ephedra-based diet pills. Kobe’s team filed to trademark his “Black Mamba” name the year after Hi-Tech.
Kobe argues that most people connect him with the name “Black Mamba” and highlighted how Nike regularly uses “hyper” in their products, which would confuse with the diet pill. Hi-Tech countered that argument, mentioning another athlete who uses the “Black Mamba” nickname, boxer #RogerMayweather. He trademarked “Roger Black Mamba Mayweather” in 2013.
So who really has dibs on the “Black Mamba” name after all?