The NBA has trademarked the name of Kobe Bryant.
The trademark filing comes as the NBA begins a trademark campaign for the term “Kobe” in a bid to raise awareness for a young man with Down syndrome.
The NBA has been using the phrase “KOBE” since 2013 to refer to the NBA superstar who won three championships in a row, according to the Associated Press.
Kobe is the NBA’s most valuable player, with a value of $96 billion.
The NBA said in its filing Monday that it was “taken to the court to protect its intellectual property.”
The NBA is seeking to trademark the term as it seeks to capitalize on the popularity of the basketball star.
“We’re not trying to create a brand,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said during a press conference.
“We’re trying to protect our intellectual property and our brand.
We’re doing it in a way that’s in line with what we believe is appropriate.”
NBA’s first use of the term was in April.
The league said in the filing that its use was “in accordance with the NBA Brand Protection Agreement.”
“The NBA brand has been built around the basketball player and his ability to elevate the game of basketball through his extraordinary contributions to his team and his league,” NBA spokesman Dave Buss said in a statement.
“The NBA Brand Protect program is the most comprehensive program in the world for protecting the NBA brand, and has saved over $3 billion in lost revenue from all brands.
We are confident that our trademark application is in accordance with that agreement.”
The team has been trying to capitalize by taking the name “Kobes” from the rapper Tupac Shakur.
The Associated Press reported in March that the NBA was considering a trademark of the phrase for a decade, including a potential renewal for a few more years.